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London hit by house price falls…

November has seen the first fall in house prices this year to an average of £155,199 from £155,467 in October, according to property website Rightmove.

It says the 0.2 per cent fall has mainly hit London properties, especially at the £750,000-plus end of the market, while prices elsewhere in the UK are mostly holding up well.

Rightmove says November&#39s fall is in sharp contrast to the strong monthly rise of 2.7 per cent in October and follows a 22.2 per cent rise in average asking prices over the past year from £126,995.

It suggests large numbers of City job losses are beginning to take their toll and predicts the softening of the London market can be expected to continue over the next few months.

Rightmove&#39s analysis shows that asking prices have fallen in around a third of London boroughs over the last three months, including a 11 per cent drop in Westminster, 7.6 per cent in Camden, 5.4 per cent in Tower Hamlets and 1.9 per cent in Kensington and Chelsea.

This compares with big quarterly increases of 9 per cent in the North.

Rightmove also says house prices as a multiple of average earnings are at record levels. The average house price of £155,199 is 6.19 times more than average full-time earnings of £25,070.

Housing commentator Miles Shipside says: “Houses are now becoming unaffordable and especially so in central London.

“If present trends continue, house prices in central boroughs will be down by 10 per cent by the end of next year and down by around 5 per cent in Greater London.”

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