Mill Hill is one of London’s most well-regarded residential areas. It rose to prominence in the 17th century with people flocking to the area to make the most of the leafy streets and peaceful green spaces.
This explains why some of the most popular properties on the market are elegant period buildings which have only grown in desirability over the years. There are also plenty of attractive modern apartments which are ideal for first-time buyers.
If you’re thinking about moving to Mill Hill it’s useful to have some insight into the local property market and the sales trends over the years. With that in mind, here’s an in-depth examination of Mill Hill’s property statistics during the last two decades.
As with many London locations, Mill Hill’s average property prices have risen steadily since 2000; though the EU referendum and COVID pandemic both had an enormous impact on the market. The level of property sales dipped significantly after the 2008 housing crisis but have been steadily climbing since then.
Overall, the data speaks for itself. Though Mill Hill’s market has been affected by various global and national events in the last two decades, homes have increased in value with the average property price being much higher than it was back in 2000.
Prior to the 2008 property slump, house prices in Mill Hill were on the rise. In 2000, an average house cost just £224,582 while an apartment was priced at around £110,570. These affordable figures were about to change rapidly though.
A year later average house prices in Mill Hill had climbed to £229,571. Apartment prices had experienced even more impressive growth rising to £134,075. That’s an increase of over £23,500 in just twelve months.
The sharp price-hike showed no signs of slowing down. By 2004 an average house cost £341,851 and an average flat was £224,714. At this point apartment prices started to stabilise and only experienced an increase of £26,870 over the next four years, however, house prices grew by over £110,000; a much more notable rise.
Likewise, the market was extremely active from 2000 to 2008. It hit a peak in 2002 with 775 houses and 370 flats being sold that year and 2007 was nearly as busy too with 760 house and 364 flat sales.
2008 is a year that’s remembered by many – thanks to the enormous financial upheaval and its subsequent impact on the property market.
It was a situation that several experts anticipated but few predicted it would be so severe. As Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide’s chief economist, commented at the time: “The disruption in the financial markets worsened throughout 2008 and had larger implications for the real economy than we anticipated a year ago. We did not anticipate the speed of house price falls or the extent of the global and domestic economic slowdown.”
Nationwide’s survey (2008) revealed that UK house prices fell by 15.9% - the largest price drop on record. The recession then impacted the market further with mortgage lenders being more restrictive with their terms and homebuyers warier of committing. Interestingly, despite the financial turmoil London property prices remained the highest in the country.
During this time the number of homes being sold in Mill Hill dropped significantly. In 2007 760 houses had been sold – in 2008 this figure had plummeted to just 337. Apartment sales fared no better sinking from 364 in 2007 to just 207 the year after.
Mill Hill’s property prices were also affected. The average cost of a house in the area was £451,922 in 2008; a year later this had dropped to £399,925 – a decrease of over £50,000. Apartments weren’t as badly impacted though. In 2008 the average price was £251,584; this was down to £236,485 the year after. That’s a reduction of around £15,000.
The market remained slow after the financial crisis. In the five years following 2008 the number of yearly house sales failed to exceed 431, which was considerably less than previous years. Average Mill Hill property prices took a further dip in 2009 then slowly started to recover. By 2013 an average house in the area cost £538,649 and a flat cost £298,977 – a good-sized increase over a five-year period.
This was partially due to some government incentives introduced to stimulate the market such as the removal of stamp duty for first-time buyers (2010) and the introduction of the Help to Buy Scheme (2013).
It’s also important to note that foreign investment kept the capital’s property market more buoyant than other parts of the country. Thanks to overseas buyers some areas of London saw meteoric rises in property prices and while Mill Hill didn’t experience the rapid price-hikes of locations like Kensington or Chelsea it still held its own relatively well.
The growing buy-to-let market also had an impact. Increasing numbers of landlords invested in properties in the city which, in turn, helped to propel the market.
In 2016 the EU referendum took place and the results shook the country. The impact of the Brexit decision on London’s property market was immediate and pronounced.
Numbers of cuts to asking prices rose by 163% in the 12 days that followed the referendum results when compared to the 12 days leading up to the vote. One agent commented at the time: “This is a very, very different market to a week ago. I’m now trying to do deals 10% below where they were a week ago and Central London is already down 10 to 15% from its peak.”
However, it wasn’t all dismal news for the market. Again, increased overseas interest kept prices stable in many locations across the capital along with landlords wanting to cash in on a rising number of tenants seeking accommodation.
Once again Mill Hill’s property market performed well despite the political upheaval. For example, in 2016 the average house was selling for £692,876. The following year this price had risen to £837,407 – one of the most impressive price increases to date.
It’s safe to say that the departure from the EU caused substantial turbulence in London’s property market. Despite this it wasn’t quite the ‘doom and gloom’ picture that experts painted at the time. Back in 2016 ex-chancellor George Osborne claimed that house prices would fall by 18% in the wake of Brexit. This dire prediction was proved incorrect – in fact, house prices continued to rise in many parts of the country.
Mill Hill suffered somewhat in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. In fact, average property prices fell from £743,744 in 2018 to £714,370 the following year. Flats were similarly affected with prices decreasing from £428,101 to £388,331.
This may have been due to investor wariness particularly as a ‘no-deal’ Brexit outcome looked increasingly more likely as time went on. Homebuyers were increasingly unwilling to commit to investing in property during such unpredictable times which was a logical response to the situation.
Some investors chose a different approach, cashing in on the reduced prices with the intention of making good profit from capital growth over time. This may explain why volumes of apartment sales were up in 2019 – with 143 more being sold in that year than the year before.
No-one could have predicted the cataclysmic events of 2020. At the start of the year Mill Hill’s property market was performing well and starting to recover from their drop in the previous year. Then in March the entire country was put into lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This had an enormous, immediate impact on house sales. Viewings were not allowed to take place and as such very few offers were made. Unsurprisingly, volumes of sales plummeted. Other factors further impeded the property market such as mass unemployment and salary cuts. As a result, homebuyers were reluctant to commit to a mortgage especially when they felt their jobs were at risk.
All this soon changed. In July 2020 chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced a stamp duty holiday for buyers – with no stamp duty due to be paid on any property priced at under £500,000 and a reduced amount of tax for homes costing above this. This created a sudden surge in interest across the UK and Mill Hill was no exception. Numbers of viewings rose substantially after lockdown and property prices started rising again.
In Mill Hill the average cost of a house increased to £708,301 – almost back to what it was the previous year. As the stamp duty holiday is coming to an end on 31st March it’s anticipated that this level of interest may only last for a short while longer.
The coronavirus pandemic has been economically hard on the country. While the stamp duty break helped to temporarily stimulate the market again it seems likely that London will see a drop in property prices over 2021.
However, the announcement of a forthcoming COVID vaccine reduces some of the uncertainty in the market. With no further lockdowns (hopefully) and fewer people out of work, buyer confidence will probably increase once more. This means greater demand which is likely to raise Mill Hill’s property prices once more.
That’s why purchasing a home in the area now may well be a savvy move. Homebuyers can make the most of the market downturn, investing in property that’s cheaper than it would normally be, then increase their future profits through capital growth.
Speculations are already emerging with regards to what the future might hold for areas such as Mill Hill. One industry expert suggested that London property prices would rise by an average of 12.7% over the next five years and they also predict a fairly speedy bounce-back from the COVID crisis.
The lockdown forced many people to review their current lifestyles – with several homeowners reporting feeling frustrated at the lack of green space near their London homes. As such, buyers are likely to look to locations like Mill Hill which offer an abundance of parks and tree-lined streets while still being situated in the capital.
As one expert commented: “Many people are reassessing their work-life balance, seeking a change of location or a trade up the ladder. The unexpected stamp duty holiday has given a further boost to the market, particularly in higher-value locations through the commuter zone and lifestyle relocation hotspots…that points to stronger growth in London’s hinterland.”
Considering this it’s worthwhile looking for properties in Mill Hill that come with outdoor space. Home offices are also unsurprisingly experiencing a surge in popularity given that so many people were forced to work from home during lockdown.
It’s impossible to say with any certainty what the next few years have in store but based on the current evidence it seems that investing in Mill Hill property will pay off in the long-term, perhaps more so than other locations in the capital.
If you’re thinking of buying a property in Mill Hill, talk to Squires Estates. We’ve got a wide range of homes available to buy in the area; from affordable one-bedroomed apartments with a balcony, to expansive family homes with generously sized gardens.
To find out more about living in this location or to get information about the best streets, schools, amenities and more, simply get in touch with our team today.