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Property prices plummet

PUBLISHED: 15:43 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:46 25 August 2010

PROPERTY in the borough has become the third cheapest in London after house prices fell in the biggest slump in 18 years.

PROPERTY in the borough has become the third cheapest in London after house prices fell in the biggest slump in 18 years.

Bexley house prices have fallen below the stamp duty threshold with an average property tag of £166,800 compared to £204,000 last year.

Prices have nosedived by 9.8 per cent, with an average drop in the capital at 10 per cent and 8.1 per cent nationally.

In June 1990, at the height of the last slump, the annual fall amounted to 10.6 per cent.

Neighbouring Bromley is the fifth cheapest London borough with house prices dropping by more than the national average at 11.2 per cent.

New father Gokhan Hassan, 22, owns five properties but is desperate to sell his one bedroom flat in Sundridge Park, Bromley so that he can buy a house for him, his fiancée and his six-week old son.

He has already knocked £40,000 off the original £169,000 price for a quick sale but he fears he may have to slash the price even more. He said: "It's terrible. Houses are still selling but flats are really suffering because it's first time buyers who want them.

"They don't know much about the market and mortgages are becoming quite hard to come by for them. Everyone is a bit scared.

"I am desperate to sell because we're living in a one-bedroom flat but we need a house. We're stuck until someone buys it because the cash from the sale will fund the purchase of the house we have found.

"I'm losing a lot on all my properties and around £200,000 has been wiped off the value of them in the last 12 months.

"I can't wait for house prices to recover. I've had a couple of private viewings but mostly investors and they are crawling around my properties like flies but are only interested in paying ridiculous prices."

Four London boroughs, including Bexley, now come under the £175,000 stamp duty threshold, whereas this time last year only one - Barking and Dagenham - did.

But Bexley based Chattertons estate agency owner, Mike Healey, is heralding the fall as good news. He said: "This is the deadest it has been for 28 years but every cloud has a silver lining.

"Houses in Bexley are selling for around 22 per cent cheaper than they were in July 2007, so people can get good deals.

"We are still selling houses, but only when people recognise that prices have dropped. Almost every seller is also a buyer. Prices couldn't have continued at that rate, it was ridiculous."

Data from exclusive estate agents Knight Frank shows property in London's wealthiest suburbs is also being hit. Prices have decreased for eight consecutive months and fell by 3.6 per cent in November - the second largest drop on record.

Landlord Mark Doyle has just accepted an offer on a £1 million five-bedroom house in Hill Brow, Bickley which was originally on the market for £1.5million but he is philosophical about the loss.

He said: "The buyers might think they got a good deal but the value could drop even more.

"I'm going to get more buy-to-rents with the profit because the rental market is never going to be affected.

"I've been hit from both sides because people are always looking for a good deal at the top end of the market and they don't sell as well as the three or four bed semis. But that's just the property business."

katherine.nelson@archant.co.uk

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