Prime property in London, England has hit a record high. The average asking price of homes in Kensington and Chelsea has hit an average of £2 million due to wealthy buyers from India, China, and Russia. These foreign investors are still targeting London's real estate due to Britain's transparent legal system and its reputation as a safe haven.
Homes in Kensington and Chelsea have always attracted people from the business and entertainment world due to the areas close proximity to the Square Mile, and the plethora of upmarket shops and private schools nearby. Real estate asking prices in London have increased by nearly £600 a week over the last year.
The rest of the UK saw prices rise by 4.9% during the first quarter of this year,according to Rightmove price index, which is the largest Q1 increase since 2004. The typical asking price for a property is now £236,939, but the average asking price of property in London is £455,159, which is an annual increase of 7.3%. It's not good news for all of the UK, as prices fell in the North-West, the Midlands and Wales. Prices in the West Midlands fell by 2.9% to an average of £181,925. The average asking price throughout England and Wales increased by 1.6% month on month in March, and prices are now up 2.2% compared to March last year. This monthly rise is also the highest for the month since March 2004.
However there are doubts as to whether this upturn will continue, as the stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers is due to end on March 24, and this has caused a flurry of last-minute property sales. First-time buyers are already struggling to save sufficient money for a deposit, and asking prices for property in this price range have increased by more than £5,000 during the last year.
It remains to be seen whether the chancellor, George Osborne will extend the stamp duty exemption tomorrow in the spring budget, or if he has any other surprises up his sleeve.