So where can you still buy a property for under £100K in England and Wales? Surprisingly London does feature although only just. The data is filtered to sales in 2015 only and Flats are excluded, to ensure this is houses only.
The pie chart below shows the distribution of these properties by region; as expected the further away from London you get, the more affordable property becomes with the North accounting for nearly half of the sales shown.
Further analysis of the London data, 168 house sales, reveals an anomaly which might explain the unusually high number of sales at this price point. One of the properties is listed in the data as terraced, but is in fact a Flat, converted from a terraced house in Streatham and sold for £26,000 in July 2015. The same sale is listed in Zoopla:
However Zoopla’s own historic data shows the flat was for sale at £600,000:
While this is more palatable for a London property, it also leaves the data slightly questionable.
“In September 2015 Private Eye created an easily searchable online map (click below) of properties in England and Wales owned by offshore companies. It reveals for the first time the extent of the British property interests of companies based in tax havens from Panama to Luxembourg, and from Liechtenstein to the South Pacific island of Niue. Most are held in this way for tax avoidance and often to conceal dubious wealth”
The graph below illustrates the problem created by treating property as a long term investment. Between 1952 and 1972, property prices and annual salaries are roughly in line with a slight rise as we enter the 70’s. Over the next 20 years property prices begin their upward rise and crash at the start of the 90’s, leaving salaries rising steadily but very slowly in comparison. Despite the events of the late 80’s property prices continue to rise over the final 20 years at an even steeper rate than anything we have seen before; fuelled by foreign investment, money laundering, tax avoidance, a rise in buy-to-let investments and a long period of low interest rates. The dream of home ownership are now beyond the reach of so many.
(House price data sourced from Nationwide building society).