London Offers Bargains As Property Market Heats Up In Shires

If ever there was a good time to invest in London’s residential property market with a view towards the long term, this is it.

The last couple of years have seen the capital lagging behind the UK as a whole in property prices, meaning there are plenty of relative bargains available that can be found with the help of London property experts, even if the overall average remains higher than all but a few other locations.

Brexit was already taking its toll before the pandemic hit, with the latter factor prompting many people to prefer to live away from big cities.

This became the place where they could enjoy lots of social distancing and space (both indoors and out), make the most of the imperative to work from home, and find alternative activities to do at a time when big city theatres, stadiums and restaurants were shut.

As the BBC reports, this has meant the epicentres of price rises have been attractive rural areas. Land Registry data has revealed that the highest annual price increase – 29 per cent – has been in Richmondshire in North Yorkshire, an area covering much of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Other rural areas with high house price inflation were similar – Derbyshire Dales, North Norfolk and the Cotswolds, all offering a rural idyll in stark contrast to London and other big cities.

As the article noted, the Richmond in Yorkshire may have lower house prices than its London equivalent – which is two and a half times higher at around £700,000 – but the increase in the southern version has been just half of one per cent this last 12 months.

The same Land Registry figures that highlight high growth in rural also show that London remains at the bottom for regional house price growth, in contrast with the last couple of decades.

Four local authorities in the capital have actually seen prices falling, with drops of 13.2 per cent in the City of London, 7.9 per cent in Westminster, 4.8 per cent in Kensington and Chelsea and 1.7 per cent in Southwark.