Many London Homes Selling for £1m+ in 2023

A significant proportion of residential properties within the capital have achieved a sales price exceeding £1 million in the current fiscal year. This conclusion is based on an analysis of sold price data obtained from the Land Registry encompassing property transactions completed from January to August 2023 across twelve prominent urban centers. The examination involved assessing the proportion of total sales exceeding £1 million, the mean transaction price, and the cumulative value of residential properties sold.

In the context of annual house price growth, the London real estate market exhibits a decline of -0.8% over the past year, distinguishing it as one of only three regions in the country to record a year-on-year decrease. However, it is worth noting that London maintains its dominance with regard to residential properties sold at a price point of £1 million or higher.

The comprehensive study reveals that, as of the present year, a total of 3,716 properties have been successfully sold for £1 million or more in the city of London, representing 21.1% of the total number of residential transactions conducted throughout the capital.

Bristol emerges as the second city with the highest number of property transactions exceeding £1 million, with 86 such transactions accounting for merely 1.9% of the overall residential property sales within the city. Additionally, Sheffield (0.9%), Newcastle (0.6%), and Leeds (0.6%) all secure positions in the top five rankings, although the percentage of £1 million property sales within these cities remains below 1% of total residential transactions for the year 2023.

Furthermore, London stands out in terms of both the median transaction price and the cumulative value of residential properties exceeding the £1 million threshold. Properties transacted at or above this £1 million benchmark achieve an average sales price of £1.45 million, a considerable contrast to the £565,000 average in the remaining segments of the London real estate market. Collectively, the sales of £1 million properties in London yield a combined value of £312.2 million. Bristol secures the second position in this regard, albeit with a substantially lower total value of £156.1 million.

In this dynamic real estate landscape, property surveyors, including party wall surveyors London, play an integral role in facilitating smooth transactions within the high-value property market. Their expertise is crucial in assessing and validating the conditions of properties fetching prices exceeding £1 million, ensuring compliance with legal requirements, and addressing potential issues related to party wall agreements. By offering professional guidance and expert assessments, property surveyors contribute to the integrity of these transactions, safeguarding the interests of all parties involved and upholding the regulatory standards that govern such transactions in major cities like London.

Chancellor urged to fund Gospel Oak to Barking line electrification in Budget

The London Assembly’s Transport Committee has this week written to George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to urge him to fund the proposed electrification of the Gospel Oak to Barking railway line in next week’s Budget.

Electrification of the line would bring significant improvements for both freight and passenger traffic, including reduced overcrowding for passengers, improved connectivity with the rest of London’s rail network, environmental benefits and the ability to run longer trains on the line.

Network Rail stated at a recent Transport Committee’s meeting (7 March) that full funding must be made available in 2013 to complete the electrification programme before Crossrail opens.

After Crossrail starts running services in 2018, the funding needed to enable electric trains to run on the Gospel Oak to Barking line will accelerate due to access issues.

Transport for London (TfL) has offered to contribute £25 million towards the £90 million estimated cost of the scheme. The electrification programme also has the support of the Mayor, Transport for London (TfL), the rail industry and passenger groups.

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Chair of the Transport Committee, said:

“It is a major disappointment that funding for the electrification of the Gospel Oak-Barking line, which was expected to be announced last year, has so far failed to materialise. There is a strong business case for electrification on a line where passenger demand already far outstrips capacity.

We hope the Government will listen seriously to our calls for a serious package of funding – incorporating TfL’s £25 million contribution – and confirm this in next week’s Budget announcement.”

Cleaner, greener transport, door to door

Plans announced to reduce barriers to the use of sustainable local transport.

The government’s plan to make seamless, convenient journeys using greener modes of transport an everyday reality was unveiled by Transport Minister Norman Baker today.

Speaking at the launch of the door to door strategy, the coalition government’s vision for a flourishing, joined-up, sustainable transport system, Norman Baker said:

“Helping people use greener modes of transport will help create growth and cut carbon, easing congestion on our roads and encouraging people to opt for greener, healthier options. But to make that happen we need low carbon travel to become as easy as jumping into the car. This strategy pulls together, for the first time, a whole range of different areas of work aimed at making sustainable transport a viable option for everybody.”

“When people are thinking about their journey, they naturally think about the cost and complexity of the entire trip, door to door, not just the ride on the train or bus. So as well as cutting out the hassle of travelling by bike, by foot and by public transport, we need to make it simpler and more reliable to combine different ways of travelling to get the whole way from A to B. A sustainable journey is only as attractive as its weakest link.”

Currently, for journeys of less than 5 miles in Great Britain 54% of people travel by car. For longer journeys this increases to 80%. The door to door strategy focuses on four core areas which need to be addressed so that people can be confident in choosing greener modes of transport:

- accurate, accessible and reliable information about different transport options for their journey

- convenient and affordable tickets, for an entire journey

- regular and straightforward connections at all stages of the journey and between different modes of transport

- safe and comfortable transport facilities

It also sets out how the government is encouraging behaviour change by helping reduce or remove barriers to the use of sustainable transport, and working closely with operators, local authorities and industry experts to deliver a better-connected transport system.

The strategy cites examples of innovative schemes which are already making it easier for passengers to travel by more sustainable modes, including South Yorkshire’s multi-operator ticket which is valid on buses, tram and trains, and the Leeds cycle point scheme which was the first cycle hub in the UK offering secure cycle parking along with retail and repair facilities, cycle hire and information.

Malcolm Shepherd, Chief Executive of Sustrans said:

“As fuel prices rise and we struggle to find opportunities to live healthy lives, it’s important to ensure it is easier to make journeys by bike, foot or public transport. This strategy reflects the increasing recognition within government that we must invest in creating a high-quality cycling and walking environment and ensure public transport is accessible to all.”

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport said:

“We need to improve the transport choices people have every time they step out the door. Campaign for Better Transport has consistently argued that joining each part of the journey up makes alternatives to the car more attractive – for convenience, cost and impact. This strategy is an important first step in making that happen.”

The government also published guidance today to help local authorities introduce ticketing schemes that allow passengers to use the same ticket on more than one operator’s services.

Transforming London’s waterways – Mayor announces plans for UK’s largest ‘floating village’

The Mayor, Boris Johnson, has unveiled ambitious plans  to create the UK’s largest ‘floating village’ as part of his on-going drive to transform London’s Royal Docks bringing, jobs, commercial space and homes back to the capital’s waterways.

Launching an international competition to find developers and London partners to design and deliver the scheme, the Mayor made the announcement as he travelled to MIPIM, the world’s premier property conference, where he will be promoting this unique site and other investment opportunities in London.

His plans will see 15 acres of water at the Royal Victoria Dock site, sitting directly under the Emirates Airline, transformed into a thriving community with floating homes, hotels, restaurants and bars.  When complete it will be one and half times the size of Green Park and have some of the best transport links in the capital with a new Crossrail station, DLR and the cable car linking it to central London and Canary Wharf.

Although a first for the UK, floating developments are already a popular idea on the continent with successful schemes at ljbury near Amsterdam and Hafen City in Hamburg as well as many others throughout Scandinavia.

The Mayor, who inherited over 600 hectares of land as a result of the Localism Act in April 2012, is currently one of the largest owners of public land in London. He is determined to bring more public land forward for development and accelerate the number of homes being built for Londoners. As part of this, the redevelopment of the entire Royal Docks area is one of his key priorities.  His investments in this area have already led to the opening of the Emirates cable car and the Siemens Crystal Centre as well as upcoming developments at Silvertown Quays and Royal Albert Docks.

Throwing down the gauntlet to international and home-grown investors at MIPIM to come up with a spectacular design that will make his vision of London first liquid postcode a reality,  the Mayor Boris Johnson said: ”This site is unique. It has the potential to become one of the most sought after addresses in the capital while breathing new life back into London’s waterways. But it’s not alone. Right across London there are incredible investment opportunities that I’m determined to bring to market creating more homes and jobs for Londoners.  My message to the developers gathering at MIPIM is that London is the best place to invest.”

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: ”London is moving eastwards and the Royal Docks offer an investment opportunity in scale unmatched anywhere in Europe. This exciting development is a pivotal part of their reanimation.  The Royal Docks were designated the capital’s first new Enterprise Zone, in recognition of the importance of the area to the future of London’s economy. As today’s announcement shows, they have the capacity to attract modern sustainable businesses and deliver 21st century growth for the capital. It is essential that the transformation of the area translates into long-term prosperity, growth and jobs.

“The Docks are being transformed into a living, working community of high quality offices, workspace, retail, residential spaces, leisure and entertainment facilities. They will become a vibrant, exciting and fun visitor attraction which will draw people not just from across the capital – but across the country.  This venture will provide a major boost for the local economy and further cement the area’s reputation as one of the capital’s must-visit places. Investment in the borough encompassing the Olympic Park and Stratford in the north through to Canning Town, Custom House and the Royal Docks in the south, reflects Newham’s status as London’s regeneration priority for the next 25 years.”

Visiting MIPIM in southern France to drum up interest in the plethora of opportunities available in the capital, the Mayor will be hosting a series of meetings with potential investors and developers,  as well as giving a key note conference address and opening the London Stand.

The Mayor recently launched a new Land Assets Database with details of his land holdings including information about the size and location of individual sites as well as aerial photographs. This is the first time these sites, and those of the GLA functional bodies, have been made publically available in this way, making it far easier for anyone with an interest in this land to find out more.

TfL launches competition to find operator to run Crossrail services

London’s newest rail line reached another milestone today with the announcement that Transport for London(TfL) is seeking a train operator to run Crossrail services from May 2015. A notice has now been issued with the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) with potential operators having until the end of April to submit expressions of interest.

Crossrail services will be let as a concession by TfL, similar to the concession let by TfL for London Overground, which is now one of the most reliable railways with some of the highest levels of customer satisfaction across the UK. TfL will stipulate the level of services to be provided including hours of operation and staffing levels.

The successful bidder will run the train services and many of the stations along the Crossrail route, providing customer service and operations staff. The services on Crossrail will be phased and will initially operate on existing rail lines between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, taking over the stopping services currently operated by Greater Anglia. The route through Canary Wharf, the City and the West End will open in late 2018, with the full route running in 2019.

Crossrail will be fully integrated as part of the TfL network providing a fast, frequent service linking the east and west and relieving congestion on some of the busiest Tube lines. Passengers using Crossrail will see reduced journey times and the new stations will be fully integrated with existing London Underground, DLR and National Rail stations making it easy for passengers to change between services. All Crossrail stations will have clear passenger information and security throughout, the stations will also be staffed at all times when trains are operating. Stations will benefit from improved accessibility with step-free access from street level to Crossrail platforms at at least 29 stations.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: ”We’re looking to appoint a world class operator to run a world class service that will see Crossrail set the benchmark for railway services in Europe.”

Crossrail will provide a vital new rail link in the capital and along with the Tube upgrades will ensure we can continue to move people efficiently around London. As our population grows faster than forecast, the case for stable and sustained investment in London’s transport network has never been stronger. When Crossrail opens it will increase London’s rail-based transport network capacity by 10 per cent, supporting regeneration across the capital, helping to secure London’s position as a world leading financial centre, and cutting journey times across the city. It is expected that Crossrail will transport around 200 million passengers a year and will achieve internationally recognised high standards of reliability, train frequency and customer service.

Howard Smith, Chief Operating Officer for London Rail, said: ”Work on delivering Crossrail, a new rail service linking west to east through the heart of London, continues at a pace with tunnelling well underway and work at key stations being carried out. We are now starting the procurement process to find a truly first rate operator to run the Crossrail services and provide excellent standards of customer care on behalf of TfL. The first services will operate from May 2015 between Liverpool Street and Shenfield with the main Crossrail services connectingCanary Wharf, the City and the West End in late 2018.”

Services to Shenfield will initially operate with the current rolling stock but will be gradually replaced in 2017 by the new Crossrail trains.

It is expected that an operator will be appointed by late 2014.

Boris wants to de-lycrafy cycling

A £913 million plan to revolutionise cycling in London was announced today by the capital’s mayor Boris Johnson.

Saying he wanted to “de-Lycrafy cycling”, Mr Johnson outlined plans for a 15-mile cycle route from the western suburbs to Canary Wharf In Docklands and Barking in east London.

The route will include Dutch-style fully segregated cycle tracks along, among other places, the Victoria embankment and the Westway flyover.

Under the plan, a range of new cycle routes will open over the next four years parallel to and named after Tube lines and bus routes.

The plans will include:

- A new network of “Quietways” – direct, continuous, fully signposted routes on peaceful side streets, running far into the suburbs, and aimed at people put off by cycling in traffic;

- Better segregation between bikes and other vehicles;

-  Improvements to existing “superhighway” bus routes;

-  Improvements to junctions deemed the least safe fo cyclists, including Blackfriars, Vauxhall and Elephant & Castle;

- Encouraging more out-of-hours deliveries by lorries to improve cyclist safety;

- 20mph speed limits for all traffic on some cycle routes;

-  An electric bike hire scheme, similar to the existing Barclays Cycle Hire, will be trialled;

Mr Johnson – a keen cyclist himself – said: ”I want to de-Lycrafy cycling. I want to make it normal, something for everyone, something you feel comfortable doing in your ordinary clothes. Our new routes will give people the confidence to get in the saddle.

“I do not promise perfection, or that London will become Amsterdam any time soon. But what I do say is that this plan marks a profound shift in my ambitions and intentions for the bicycle.”

He went on: ”The reason I am spending almost £1 billion on this is my belief that helping cycling will not just help cyclists. It will create better places for everyone. It means less traffic, more trees, more places to sit and eat a sandwich.

“It means more seats on the Tube, less competition for a parking place and fewer cars in front of yours at the lights. Above all, it will fulfil my aim of making London’s air cleaner.”