London homes have earned owners almost £200 a day on average already this year as prices have continued their remarkable surge, according to figures.
Local property markets across most of the city have risen strongly — despite the slowdown in some central areas — further widening the yawning wealth gap between the property haves and have-nots.
The average daily increase in a London home’s value between January and March was £197, equivalent to £71,905 a year, analysis of Land Registry data reveals. That is almost twice the average London salary of £36,258.
The most dramatic gains have been in once unfashionable areas in east London and the outer suburbs, as first-time buyers seek more affordable neighbourhoods. Demand has also been inflated by investors trying to beat the April 1 deadline for a new buy-to-let stamp duty surcharge.
The biggest rises were in Lewisham, where prices went up £385 a day, equal to more than £140,000 a year. It was closely followed by Hackney, with prices up by £343 every 24 hours, and Barking & Dagenham, London’s cheapest local authority area, with £293 a day.
Graham Stubbs from agents Chestertons, which carried out the analysis, said: “Since before Christmas we have had would-be purchasers practically queueing round the block, and it’s been a real mix of first-time buyers, second-steppers, buy-to-let investors and people looking for a London pad as a second home or work-day pied-à-terre.”
Digital marketing executive Nicholas White, 36, paid £210,000 for his one-bedroom flat in Newham before Christmas.
He estimates that once he has finished work costing “less than £20,000” it will be worth £300,000. “It makes me feel secure but obviously it’s not money in my pocket unless I move outside of London,” he said.
Homes in Kensington & Chelsea, the city’s wealthiest borough, have risen by “only” £169 a day. Central London’s property market has been hit by stamp duty rises on £1 million-plus homes. Uncertainty over the EU referendum in June has also deterred foreign buyers.
Sir Steve Bullock, London Councils’ executive member for housing, said property costs outstripping incomes is “a huge problem” for Londoners.