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Poor House Price Performance in London Does Not Deter Home Sale Activity

Recent research conducted by Yopa, a leading full-service estate agency, uncovers that London, despite experiencing the steepest drop in house prices among England’s major cities, continues to lead in terms of home sales volume. Yopa’s comprehensive analysis compared the housing market performance, focusing on home sales and price trends from December 2022 to December 2023, across ten of England’s largest cities.

Contrasting House Price Trends
The study reveals a nationwide house price decrease of -2.1% over the past year. London saw the most pronounced fall, with average prices dipping by -4.8%, the most significant reduction recorded in the analysis. Sheffield closely mirrors London’s downturn, with a -4.4% annual decrease. Other cities, including Liverpool, Birmingham, Bradford, Leeds, and Manchester, also faced declines, albeit less severe. Conversely, Newcastle emerged as the outlier, witnessing a robust 4.6% price uplift, followed by modest gains in Bristol and Leicester.

London’s Unwavering Market Presence
Despite the downturn in house price performance, London’s housing market remains the most active, with the capital city accounting for almost half of the property transactions among the cities examined. Of the 98,383 property sales completed over the last year in these cities, London boasted a staggering 49% share. Manchester ranked second with 20% of sales, while Leeds, Birmingham, Bradford, Sheffield, and Bristol each contributed to a smaller fraction of the total transactions, highlighting London’s dominant position in the nation’s real estate activity.

Expert Insights
Verona Frankish, CEO of Yopa, sheds light on the current market conditions, stating, “We’ve seen higher interest rates dampen the purchasing power of the nation’s homebuyers over the last year and this has naturally led to a reduction in house prices, particularly across major regional cities where homes command the highest price tags.”

Frankish further explains the paradoxical nature of London’s market, noting, “With London home to the highest house prices in the nation, it’s no surprise that cooling market conditions have seen the average London house price fall by the greatest margin. However, topline house price performance doesn’t necessarily reflect the overall health of the market and while London may have seen the most significant correction in house prices, it remains by far the busiest major city where actual buyer activity levels are concerned.”

This analysis underscores the resilience and enduring appeal of London’s housing market, even as it navigates through a period of price adjustments and evolving buyer dynamics.