Christmas joy eludes London housing as asking prices plunge

London home prices are having their worst December in six years, led by weakness in prime areas in the capital that is likely to persist into 2017. Rightmove said on Monday that asking prices fell 4.3 per cent from November to $775,500 (AED 2.8million), with inner London dropping 6 per cent. The property website operator said the bubble in prime London “continues to deflate,” and it sees prices there declining 5 per cent next year. In a sign of the disparity within the city, average prices in inner London are down 2.6 per cent over the past year, whereas outer areas are up 2.7 per cent. That left average prices across the capital little changed. The split partly reflects the luxury end of the market, where an April tax increase on property investors and worries about Brexit are sapping demand. Rightmove’s report also showed demand in London - as measured by sales agreements - was down 7.2 per cent in November from a year earlier. Nationally, asking prices fell 2.1 per cent in December from the previous month, in line with the seasonal average, and were up 3.4 per cent from a year earlier. In contrast to London, Rightmove expects national prices to increase for a seventh consecutive year in 2017, forecasting a 2 per cent advance. (Fergal O'Brien/Bloomberg)

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