|As Property Crunch Moves in, is Ealing Still as Safe as Houses?|
Estate Agents report slowing of local market
Estate agents Knight Frank placed Ealing seventh in a poll of the most stable London boroughs last month. And yet this month prices in Ealing are down by 0.9 per cent according to property website Rightmove. So where's it all gone wrong for the 'Queen of the Suburbs'?
Annual house price inflation in England and Wales has slowed to its lowest level since mid-2005, as April suffered its first month-on-month fall in asking prices in six years.
According to figures by Rightmove the annual rate of asking-price increases slowed to 1.3 per cent in April, down from 5 per cent in March, as the impact of the credit crunch on mortgage availability continued to bite.
Prices in the North West of England fell by 1.4 per cent from March while the next largest decline was in London, where prices were down by 0.9 per cent, with Richmond, Ealing, Waltham Forest, Kensington and Chelsea among the worst hit.
And at a time of year when estate agents should be at their busiest, the number of houses and flats changing hands this spring is between 30 and 50 per cent down on last year.
Thousands of properties have been stuck on the market for months with only hefty drops in asking prices sparking significant interest. Andrew Gilbert, of the Ealing and Acton branch of agents Winkworth, told press: "Last year, we registered about 60 applicants per week but now it's more like 20. There's no doubt that this market is a struggle."
He said the hardest hit would be those in the £350,000-£900,000 'mid-market' with buyers being mainly young families worrying about jobs and often school fees.
Properties Sold in the W5, W7 and W13 areas since March
Source: Land Registry/Mouseprice