London housing prices took a dive in February 

Pricing fell .4%, the biggest drop in six years

Homes on North Audley Street in London (credit: Wikimedia)
Homes on North Audley Street in London (credit: Wikimedia)

London’s housing market saw its largest annual drop in prices in almost six years in February as the capital city continues to underperform the national average.

The average asking price for a home in London fell .4 percent year-over-year in February to $797,000, according to data from the property website Rightmove Plc sited by Bloomberg News. That was the first annual decline since April 2011.

Asking prices did climb 2.6 percent from January, but that was the smallest monthly gain for a February since the depths of the recession in 2009.

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, tax increases on investors and a lack of affordability all led to London’s housing market underperforming the national average in 2016.

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“Perhaps we’re approaching the territory where many buyers are unable or unwilling to pay what sellers are asking, given the negative combination of rises in the cost of living, tighter lending criteria, and a dose of Brexit uncertainty,” said Miles Shipside, the director of Rightmove.

Property values have skyrocketed since 2013, “so it’s not surprising that upwards price pressure is running on tired legs,” he added.

Asking prices across the U.K. as a whole rose 2 percent to an average of $381,504 in February, which was the biggest monthly increase in a year but the weakest February gains since 2009.

Central London saw pricing impacted the hardest, with asking prices falling 2.1 percent year-over-year, compared to a 1.4 percent gain for the outer suburbs. [Bloomberg] – Rich Bockmann