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For richer and for Poundland: a tale of two property cities

For richer and for Poundland: a tale of two property cities

It & rsquo;s a tale of two property cities.

London & rsquo;s property boom has radiated out, reaching once-unfashionable parts outside the traditional prime central area, but which are now themselves regarded as prime.

Meanwhile, a council in the midlands has been inundated with offers for homes priced at just & pound;1 each & ndash; less than half the price of a latte.

According to agents Cluttons, prices are shooting up by & pound;383 a day & ndash; the equivalent of a return air fare to New York & ndash; in prime central London, and are expected to go up another 22% over the next five years.

According to agents Marsh & amp; Parsons, prime London property prices are performing even better than those in the hallowed central postcodes such as Kensington & amp; Chelsea.

In places once regarded as being on the & lsquo;wrong & rsquo; side of the river, prices are now up 12.8% in the last year & ndash; and by 3.6% in the first quarter of this year alone.

It means that buying a prime central property in Mayfair will no longer command quite such an enormous premium over one that is merely prime in, say, Battersea. Mind you, all things are comparative: the premium is still a massive 43%, albeit down from 47% last year.

Investors looking for best profits are now shifting their search from the prime central postcodes outwards: in Battersea, rents have gone up by 6% so far this year, and the proportion of purchases by investors in prime London has risen from 17% to 25%.

Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & amp; Parsons, said: & ldquo;Home owners have seen their equity soar as a result of such significant price growth in the past few years.

& ldquo;We are now seeing many of those seizing the opportunity to sell at prices that have recovered and in many cases exceeded the highs of 2007, and then re-invest in the same market, taking advantage of the historically low mortgage rates available due to the Funding for Lending scheme. & rdquo;

The average price of a property in prime central London now stands at just under & pound;2m ( & pound;1,939,534), up 2% since the start of the year and up 9.3% on a year ago.

The average price of a prime London property is now & pound;1,357,837, up 3.6% this year, and 12.8% since a year ago. & rdquo;

Kinleigh Folkard & amp; Hayward also confirmed the boom and says it has sold 98% of all its instructions in the first quarter of this year in the large south-west region of the City.

Lisa Mackenzie, regional sales director for the south-west London region, said: & ldquo;Throughout the first quarter, we saw unprecedented numbers of buyers across south-west London.

& ldquo;Consequently, following the continued shortage of properties for sale, supply has not kept up with demand and we are selling virtually every property on our database within days. & rdquo;

She said there is & ldquo;huge competition & rdquo; for properties, with many going for above their asking prices as a result of open days leading to sealed bids.

In total contrast, in Stoke-on-Trent the local council is offering homes for & pound;1 apiece in the run-down Cobridge area.

More than 600 people have so far expressed an interest in the two-bed homes, where the local authority is offering & pound;30,000 loans for essential improvements.

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