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How Much Further Are London Commuters Willing to Travel?

Price rises are rippling out of the capital, one station at a time. Peter Hemple reports

Property prices in the capital reached £501,000 on average in April, according to haart estate agents, which is 26.1% higher than a year earlier, and 4% higher than in March. For workers in the capital that were thinking of buying a year ago but decided to wait, they most likely now need to find an extra £100,000 to buy the same property.

Even if they are currently looking to buy a property, each week that slips by without agreeing a purchase price will mean another £5,000 slipping through their fingers at the current rate of price growth (4% per month). The recent state of the property market in London appears to be very similar to 2006/2007 with dozens clambering into a studio flat during a one hour open viewing only to find a price has been agreed on the flat before you have sat down in a café to discuss its pros and cons with your partner.

As the majority of properties in the capital are sold for more than £500,000, most buyers will need to pay 4% stamp duty, which when added to the solicitor's fees is probably more than the cost of paying one-years rent up front, now that rental yields are so low.

Despite this, the number of people looking to buy a property in the capital is still rising rapidly, according to Paul Smith, CEO of haart, who comments: "London homeowners will be forgiven for being astonished that they have 'earned' an average £100,000 in equity over the last 12 months. In spite of London property prices breaking new records of over £500,000, buyers are still coming to the market in numbers greater than last year.

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