London’s housing boom coming to an end

LONDON • A Hometrack report provided further signs that London’s long housing boom is coming to an end.

Prices across the capital will start falling by mid-year, the research company predicted, just two weeks after broker Savills plc said values are already dropping at the fastest pace since the depths of the recession.

Hometrack said Brexit and tax changes aimed at slowing the rampant real estate market in London and the southeast are finally forcing vendors to cut asking prices.

“This is a result of tax changes impacting overseas and domestic investors and stretched affordability for owner-occupiers that has been compounded by Brexit uncertainty,” said Richard Donnell, insight director at Hometrack. Prices are next to follow.”

House prices are already growing at their slowest pace in seven years across London, and fell in 42% of postcodes in February, the most since the global financial crisis, Hometrack said.

London is among the UK cities hit hardest by the price slides after values almost doubled over the past decade.

Declines are most pronounced in high-priced inner-London boroughs such as the City of London financial district, Home- track said.

It now takes about 18 weeks to sell a home in inner London, almost double the time in outer boroughs.

Hometrack is slower than some other firms in showing a turn in the capital’s housing market because its London index includes a number of commuter towns, where prices aren’t falling as quickly. — Bloomberg