London property sales plummeted by almost 10% in 2015

This figure corresponds with a 4.5% rise in house prices in the capital during the same year.

A new report, published by London Central Portfolio, based on analysis of Land Registry figures, revealed that sales of property in the capital have dropped for the first time since the economic downturn of 2009.

These figures come, despite government initiatives such as ‘Help to buy’ and a reduction in stamp duty intended to aid buyers and increase the number of first-time buyers, which has raised concerns. Meanwhile, average house prices have climbed to £556,039 in the capital, compared with £237,921 in the rest of the UK.

In an article for City AM, research director for Savills, Susan Emmet, responded to these new figures by expressing the need for the government to follow through on its commitment to building:

“In the year to March 2015, 170,000 new homes were delivered in England… This is well below the 312,000 new homes we need a year, according to the latest assessment from the Town and Country Planning Association.”

As a result of these latest figures, the number of rented homes in the capital is expected to skyrocket, as salaries in London continue to trail behind the increasing house prices. The government has also announced a target to build 200,000 new Starter Homes which are intended to be sold at a discount for first-time buyers. In London, these buyers would need to be earning in the region of £45,000-90,000 per year.

Emmet added that diversity of tenure will be essential to the success of any new housing projects, and that a broad focus is needed in order to unite London buyers with property they can afford.