Demand drops 43% for new build flats in London

Demand has plunged for new-build apartments in London as thousands more new homes are set to be built.

Sales of new apartments in inner London are down 43% on last year.

In contrast, the planning pipeline is up 20% compared with 2013, with 106,208 new units already approved.

A further 17,494 planning applications have been submitted, including 111 for high rise towers. Altogether, new applications are up 27% on three years ago.

New schemes which have already been approved continue to be centred around Tower Hamlets and Nine Elms, with 33,239 and 18,655 new units respectively.

Average prices of new units are now £914,532, but values are falling – down 8% from their high in 2014.

According to the Land Registry, only 1,491 new units in inner London have sold so far this year – a 43% decrease compared with this time a year ago.

This compares with older properties in inner London, where there have been 13,194 transactions so far this year, compared with 13,190 at the same stage last year.

Many new properties have been sold off-plan to wealthy foreign buyers, but Naomi Heaton, CEO of investment firm London Central Portfolio, said: “In the light of the plethora of tax hits over the last few years, possibly exacerbated by the uncertainty of Brexit, it appears foreign investors, the majority buyer of new developments, may finally be turning away.

“These properties typically sell at a significant premium, averaging 25%, over older stock.

“History demonstrates that a saturation of over-priced commodity-style housing leads to softening prices, particularly during times of economic uncertainty.”

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Written by: Houseladder