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Property prices plummet

PUBLISHED: 15:09 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:25 12 August 2010

HOUSE prices across the borough are falling faster than the national and London average. Hometrack, which monitors housing data, found prices in Bromley have nose-dived by 11.2 per cent over the last year, compared to the national average of 8.2 per cen

HOUSE prices across the borough are falling faster than the national and London average.

Hometrack, which monitors housing data, found prices in Bromley have nose-dived by 11.2 per cent over the last year, compared to the national average of 8.2 per cent and 10 per cent across the capital.

Bromley is now the fifth cheapest borough in greater London, with an average property tag of £243,100, while neighbouring Bexley is third cheapest with £166,800.

The housing slump is leaving sellers shaving thousands off their asking prices during the biggest housing slump in 18 years. In June 1990, at the height of the last slump, the annual fall amounted to 10.6 per cent.

New father Gokhan Hassan, 22, owns five properties but wants to sell his one bedroom flat in Sundridge Park, Bromley, so that he can buy a house big enough 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 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." The average house price in four London boroughs, including Bexley, now comes under the £175,000 stamp duty threshold, whereas this time last year only one - Barking and Dagenham - did.

However, 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 estate agents Knight Frank, who deal in some of the capital's most upmarket properties, shows property in London's wealthiest suburbs is also being hit. Prices have decreased for eight consecutive months and last month fell by 3.6 per cent in what was 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 £1.5 million 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."

l To view Mr Hassan's flat, see www.ghcs.co.uk.

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