James Hyman, Head of Residential Sales at Cluttons, comments:

“People are now chasing affordability not location. They are being priced out of their preferred first and second locations and slowly edging out to the capital’s fringes into South East, North West and East London where there are still excellent commuter links to the city.

“Buyers know that prices are rising and deals are being tied up often in 48 hours and are increasingly going to sealed bids. We are holding more open houses as so many people are looking at each property – we had 68 viewings and 20 offers recently for a family house in Clapham needing complete modernisation which went to sealed bids. It sold for significantly over the £1m asking price.

“Family homes are going under offer as soon as we are instructed which is causing a bit of a bottle neck with buyers not putting their own houses on the market first for fear of not finding anything themselves.

“The consequence of this pace of uplift in house prices will push ownership in and around London out of reach of yet more households. Even in London where earnings tend to grow slightly ahead of the national average, it is unlikely that average earnings will keep pace with this rate of house price growth over the next two years as the economy struggles back to strength.”

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