London house prices decline for third consecutive month

House prices in London fell for the third consecutive month in October, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics today. Average house prices in London reached a peak of £399,000 in August but have since started to come down in line with the rest of the UK, to reach £388,000 in October.

Independent buying agent Gabby Adler says the downturn is due to a combination of more realistic pricing options and the increase in stamp duty tax introduced in March.

Independent buying agent Gabby Adler says: “London’s strong performance continues to drive the housing market, a trend which is expected to carry on into next year, while in other parts of the country there have been considerable falls in values. Yet even in London we are seeing price reductions as vendors become more realistic on pricing and realise what they have to do to achieve a sale in a difficult market. No price bracket seems immune, with prices cut on high-value, multi-million pound properties, down to entry level homes.

“Properties of up to £1.2m are selling fast but properties above that level are taking much longer to sell, particularly in the £2m band which have been hard hit by the increase in stamp duty in the Budget.”

Chancellor George Osborne announced a 2% increase in stamp duty tax, from 5% to 7%, for homes valued at over £2m in March. The average UK house price peaked at £234,000 in August but has since fallen to £231,000 in October.