Fewer homes than ever being sold in Newham

Newham’s housing market has come to a virtual halt in the last five years, estate agents say.

The amount of homes sold has dropped by two thirds when compared to 2007 - making it the worst performing borough in London, according to analysis by Savills.

In the first three months of 2011, there were 1,481 house sales and purchases totalling a value of almost �3.2m.

This was in sharp contrast to the �1.3bn worth of business done in Islington, and �1.1bn in Tower Hamlets.

Mohammed Ali, manager of Albany Lettings in Plaistow, said he could count the number of home buying enquiries he had last year on one hand.

He said: “People just can’t get the money together to pay for the mortgage any more.

“We have got about 15 (properties) for sale on our books and if we didn’t have lettings we wouldn’t exist any more.

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“This is even when prices are going down. Somebody was telling me that they saw a one-bedroom house on sale for �180,000.

“I say to buyers you will not get a better time to buy. It can only go up in the next 10 years and buying is a long term investment.”

But Mr Ali added the market could be given a boost by the forthcoming Olympics.

Lucian Cook, of Savills, carried out the London-wide research.

He said: “Transactions in the more valuable prime boroughs have been more robust than those in the mortgage-reliant, lower value boroughs.

“Newham transactions are just one third of their pre-crunch level.”