What Comes After "Bubble": London Home Prices Rise By 10% In One Month; Shanghai Up 12% In One Week

All those who claim there is no inflation, and a tsunami of hot central-bank money flooding the world, are advised to check out the housing numbers reported overnight by UK's property website Rightmove, according to which asking prices in London saw an "unsustainable" 10% month-on-month increase in October. This sent the typical asking prices in the capital to £544,232, a new record high surpassing the previous high set in July by more than £28,000.

Who is to blame, in addition to central banks injecting nearly $150 billion in fresh liquidity in the market every month? Why Europe's Cyprus template of course:  according to Rightmove, the "frenzy" of activity in parts of prime inner London is due to overseas investors who are looking for a safe haven to place their cash, which is "leaving the shelves bare." It also means anyone who is not a robber baron, oligarch, money launderer, or otherwise has criminal access to billions, is fresh out of luck and priced out until the next housing crash.

The berserk chasing of ultra-luxury properties can be seen on the chart below, which compares the transactions in the top price band between 2013 and 2012. One term can describe the shift: whoosh, as transactions on the most expensive property class have nearly become the single most active bucket in all of London!.

The Evening Standard has more:

A major property website has seen London house sellers' asking prices soar to a new high this month, beating their previous record by nearly £30,000 and fuelling fears that the capital is overheating.

 

Across England and Wales, asking prices rose more gently by 2.8% month-on-month, following two months of falls, to reach £252,418 on average.

 

Prices across the country are 3.8% higher than they were a year ago, although in London they have shot up by 13.8% over this period, Rightmove said.

 

Despite the overall upward march in prices, Rightmove said that "a bubble seems a long way off in the majority of regions". The patchy state of the housing market was still shown, as four areas recorded year-on-year falls in house values - Wales, the North, the North West and the West Midlands.

 

The North recorded the biggest year-on-year drop, with asking prices falling by 2.2% to reach £145,094 on average. Sellers in Wales have dropped their asking prices by the second biggest amount over the last year, with prices falling by 1.4% annually to typically reach £165,708. After London, the East Midlands saw the second biggest annual increase in house prices, with a 6.0% annual uplift taking them to £171,913 on average.

 

The findings come after the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported last week that lending activity is at its strongest in five years and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that UK house prices reached an all-time high of £247,000 in August, surpassing a previous 2008 peak.

 

Housing market activity among people with low deposits who have previously struggled to get on the property ladder is expected to increase further in the coming months, as a new phase of the Government's flagship Help to Buy scheme is fully fired into action.

Of course, since only those armed with copius loans can afford anything anymore, there are naturally banks - and in this case even the UK government - willing to provide it for them, in exchange for just 5% money down: a recipe for absolute taxpayer-funded devastation and bailouts down the line.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), NatWest, Halifax and Bank of Scotland started offering state-backed loans to people with deposits as low as 5% under the scheme this month and the lenders have reported strong interest so far.

 

Lenders including HSBC, Santander and Barclays have also confirmed they plan to come on board and start offering loans under the scheme.

 

The City of Westminster was named by Rightmove as London's strongest-performing house price area in October. Prices there have soared by 11.9% month-on-month to reach £1.6 million typically. Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham also recorded increases of 11.8% in sellers' asking prices over the month.

 

Sellers are now typically asking £2.4 million for a home in Kensington and Chelsea and £1.1 million for a home in Hammersmith and Fulham.

Buyers, however, oblivious of the prices, keep pouring in:

Rightmove said that wealthy overseas buyers are continuing to snap up properties in prime central London as they are seen as "safe" investments amid the troubles of the eurozone.

 

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said that while this is happening and developers can achieve sales at premium prices, this "eats up a much-needed source of fresh supply and drags up existing property prices at an even faster rate".

 

He said: "Although not sustainable in the longer term, some agents currently report there is a buying frenzy in parts of prime inner London, with available stock so low that their shelves are now bare."

Lol: the longer run. Who cares about that. Certainly not China. Because if you thought a 10% increase in one month was bad, what is the proper adjective to describe a 12% increase in home prices in... one week!?

As Bloomberg reports, the average Shanghai new home price rose 12% on the week. Shanghai’s average new home price rose to 26,527 yuan/square meter in the week ended Oct. 20 from the previous week, property consultant Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co. said in an e-mailed note today.

In short - what is going on in the global housing market is no longer a bubble: we don't know however how to describe it. What comes after a bubble?