St Albans property market cools following period of strong growth

House prices have dipped a little since July 2016

House prices have dipped a little since July 2016 - Credit: Archant

Property prices in St Albans have dipped slightly in the last year following a period of amazing growth.

The monthly and annual changes in St Albans property prices (Land Registry)

The monthly and annual changes in St Albans property prices (Land Registry) - Credit: Archant

According to the Land Registry House Price Index, the average property price in the St Albans Local Authority District stood at £511,278 in July 2016; by May 2017 this figure had fallen slightly to £509,113.

Prices in the district increased by an enormous 14.98 per cent in the year to July 2016 – but in May 2017, the annual growth was a relatively low 2.58 per cent.

Nick Doyle from Aitchisons, St Albans, has been predicting a slight cooling of the market for some time. He said: “I think the increases inevitably will slow down, it’s unsustainable with areas that have gone up considerably - they can’t sustain it year in year out. I think this is possibly the start of a cycle where the increase is going to be more moderate and they’re not going to be spiked as much as they have been in the last few years.”

Nick adds that this is no bad thing for the local market in the longer term. “We’ve had a chronic shortage of supply and high demand and a dominant seller’s market. If increases are very steep every year some sellers are going to say ‘I’ve got no reason to move, I’m just going to sit on my asset and let it increase’. When there are more moderate increases those types of sellers think ‘well, maybe it’s not going to go up so much in the next couple of years’. This will also bring more buyers into the marketplace as properties become more affordable.

“Whilst Brexit negotiations are prolonged, interest rates are still low but I’d say perhaps there are more moderate increases as the outlook as opposed to these steep ones, which are unsustainable. I think the moderate increases are a lot healthier and bring more parity to the marketplace.”

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