London house prices have smashed through the £500,000 barrier for the first time ever after a “staggering” four per cent surge in November.
The four per cent rise in November was the biggest monthly increase since April 2000 and it pushed the annual rate of increase to 9.7 per cent, the fastest since July 2016.
Agents say the surprise lockdown property boom has been fuelled by the release of a massive backlog of demand since the Brexitreferendum; an urge to escape from small flats with no outdoor space during the pandemic, and turbo-charged by the rush to beat the March 31 deadline for the stamp duty holiday.
George Franks, co-founder of London-based estate agents, Radstock Property, said "Considering England was in national lockdown for most of November, and a growing number of people are looking to move away from big cities in favour of more space, the resilience of the capital's property market is staggering.
"Despite the extraordinary challenges of the pandemic and the shift to remote working, London is neither down nor out.
"Pressure is growing on the Treasury to extend the stamp duty deadline given the new national lockdown and we would not be surprised to see a statement this month."
There had been fears that the market could be heading for a slump after the stasmp duty holiday ends but some experts now think that the strong momentum will carry it through for the rest of the year.
Iain McKenzie, chief executive of The Guild of Property Professionals, said:"Our members all reported unprecedented levels of activity during the closing stages of 2020. The usual seasonal slowdown simply did not materialise.
"Looking into 2021 as a whole, the mass vaccination roll-out should bolster sentiment in spite of all the economic uncertainty and may prevent the fall in values many were expecting."
The biggest rise in London was in Kensington & Chelsea, where they went up by 28.6 per cent year on year to an average of more than £1.5 million, although this is likely have been distorted by a small number of highly priced sales.
Next came Brent, where prices rose 23.9 per cent, followed by the City of London (18.6 per cent) and Merton (14.9 per cent)