Islington is one of the only local authorities in the UK that has experienced positive overall house price growth over the past year.
The Chesterton Humberts’ June Poll of Polls shows the average house price in Islington has increased 0.5% from June 2008 to £418,990 – one of only seven local authorities out of 170 in the UK to show positive annual growth. Islington also has the fourth most expensive house prices, after Kensington & Chelsea, the City of Westminster and Camden.
Graham Stubbs of Chesterton Humberts’ Islington branch puts this down to a number of factors:
Lack of stock
“There is a serious lack of stock within Islington, especially for houses,” says Graham. “There seems to have been little provision for new housing stock in the area, so competition for those coming to the market is extremely fierce and makes upgrading difficult.”
Graham says, “Mortgage availability wasn’t a huge stumbling block for the buyers that we dealt with during 2008. While they may not have been able to borrow as much as they would have liked, invariably they were still being offered finance. This meant that come the beginning of 2009 there was a lot of pent-up demand from serious buyers.”
Confidence and competition
“At the beginning of 2009 there was a noticeable change in the attitude amongst buyers”, comments Graham. “In January everyone was looking for a bargain; by February/March, the bargains weren’t there but as long as buyers got a deal they were happy.
“Since April, competition has been so fierce that buyers have little choice and have to pay fair value, in some cases top end prices are close to those seen in 2007.”
Proximity to the City
“It is clear from Goldman Sachs’ recent results that the City is recovering. Due to the transport links and proximity to the City, Islington is the first to benefit. “Also, the majority of our current buyers work in the legal profession, a sector of the market that can prove very affluent during dark economic times,” adds Graham.
Examples of recent property sales in Islington
A spacious one double bedroom flat, approximately 1,100sq ft, with patio garden on Calabria Road came to the market on 26th May with an asking price of £399,950. By 15th June, Chesterton Humberts had five offers on it, so decided to go to ‘Best and Finals’ – there were seven offers submitted and it was agreed on the 17th June above the asking price.
A four-bedroom family home in Canonbury Square was brought to the market on Saturday 28th May with an asking price of £1,350,000. On the day of launch, Chesterton Humberts had 10 couples viewing and by Monday 1st June, they had received an offer from an unencumbered buyer. The property officially went under offer on 22nd June, having received four offers.