Nationally the property market may be stuttering over the last six months but according to a recent Daily Telegraph report St Albans sits behind only Richmond-upon-Thames in the rankings of UK property investment hotspots. It also predicts that St Albans will see the second-highest property prices rises in the country in the next 5 years – up 38%.
The report says this is partly due to earnings in St Albans being 46% above the national average, creating strong demand for property in the local area. The Telegraph also states that in May over 120,000 mortgages were issued nationally, and that mortgage lending was up by almost 3% this year.
An article in the Financial Times in June claimed that the number of Londoners moving out of the capital was 80% higher than five years ago, as people looked for better value for money from their property. As an example, the FT quotes: “Residents of Camden saved on average £478,000 on their house price by migrating to St Albans in the commuter belt north of London, their favoured destination”.
The Rightmove property website states that overall prices in St Albans are 13% higher than in the previous year, with the average house selling for £558,000. This compares with the UK Land Registry House Price Index figure which quotes the average house price nationally as just under £221,000.
As confirmation that articles such as these do not just represent the housing industry trying to talk up the market, even the government`s own statistics confirm that while sales may have flagged earlier in the year property prices in May rose by 0.5% compared with the previous month, and by 4.7% over the last 12 months.
All this only serves to confirm something we probably already know – we are lucky to live in the bubble that is south-west Hertfordshire, protected by our proximity to London from the worst of any economic downturns. Add to this the excellent transport links by rail, road and air, outstanding local schools, access to the countryside, and the wealth of culture, history, and gastronomic options locally it’s understandable that the area is so popular.
For further information on house price statistics go to: http://landregistry.data.gov.uk/app/ukhpi