February is an interesting time of year to be writing a market report because we can revel both in the last of the statistics trickling in from 2013 and in the predictions of the pundits for 2014.
Let's start with Righmove's December 2013 House Price Index. It reveals that the average property price in Greater London in December 2012 was £464,398; a year later, it was £517,276 - an annual change of 10.6%.
Kerr and Co based on Goldhawk Road, have experienced this rise in demand, and are not surprised with the Index figures, “December has historically been a quiet month for Estate Agents, however we have experienced a record number of sales transactions which we have completed for December 2013 alone“ reveals Chris Kerr.
In December 2012, the average property price in the borough was £885,954; a year later, the comparable figure was £1,076,257 - an annual increase of 21.5%. This was the highest annual change of any London borough. Hammersmith and Fulham was also one of Rightmove's 'Best Performers' in December 2013. It experienced a monthly change of +1.8%. coming second only to Camden at +2%. Why this sudden surge?
Local businesses and residents in the area have seen a huge interest and investment in the area, and are excited at the concept of further expansion as the development of the old BBC buildings are refurbished as a luxury hotel and the construction of one of the largest John Lewis in the country. This will transform this area of West London and make it even more attractive to potential purchasers and landlords.
Rightmove has branded 2014 as 'the year to move', and most other commentators seem to agree. The Halifax predicts that price rises in 2014 will continue to rise at a similar pace to last year. For the residents of Hammersmith and Fulham this may only be part of the picture.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has warned yet again of the shortage of supply. It believes that rising prices - a feature of recent months - have mainly been the result of more buyers chasing the relatively few homes on the market. 'Unless we see a marked increase in the number of homes coming up for sale we could well be looking at a price rises becoming unsustainable in some areas,' said Peter Bolton King, the institution's global residential director.
Chris Kerr is more balanced in his viewpoint, “The development proposed at White City includes more retail space offering local employment and new housing. The area has potential for the canny investor as well as offering the home owner a vibrant and ever popular area to live in”.