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London’s Mortgage Lending Hotspots

A number of extremely useful new housing datasets have been opened up in recent years, including those on mortgage lending and house prices. So, at the risk of saturating the market in blog posts on housing in London, in this short piece I examine London’s mortgage lending hotspots by looking at changes in mortgage lending from quarter 2 2013 (the first release) to quarter 4 2014 (the most recent data). Although we can make limited inferences from this data, the results give us a good idea of which areas are heating up.

In the map below I’ve shown the percentage change in the value of outstanding mortgages across London’s postcode sectors, with Borough names overlaid to help with orientation. The biggest percentage increase is in W1U 1, at 81%, though by London standards the total increase of just over £4 million is rather low (the total amount for mortgages here is only £9.5m). This postcode sector is just to the north of Bond Street Station, between Oxford Street and Wigmore Street. According to HM Land Registry’s price paid dataset, this new lending coincides with 28 sales in the area, at an average transaction value of £1.4 million.


More interesting, perhaps, is SE10 9 in Greenwich. This area centres on the National Maritime Museum and experienced a 72.3% increase in the value of outstanding mortgages. This represents £144 million of new lending, out of a total of £430 million in the postcode sector as a whole. According to HM Land Registry, there were 903 transactions during the timeframe covered by the mortgage data, at an average of £476,000.

In order to provide a little more detail on the areas with the largest increases, in the tables below I have provided a summary of the top 10 postcode sectors by percentage and absolute increases in mortgage lending between the second quarter of 2013 and the final quarter of 2014. Most of the postcode sectors in Table 1 show big percentage increase but quite small total increases in the London housing market context. Table 2, by contrast shows that over seven quarters these areas all saw more than £50 million of new lending.

Table 1 – Top ten postcode sectors by % increase in mortgage lending

Postcode Area Sector New Lending % Increase Total Value of Sales Total Sales Average Price
West London W1U 1 4,264,884 81.3 40,010,492 28 1,428,946
West London W1F 7 3,529,976 76.0 7,456,000 7 1,065,143
South East London SE10 9 144,076,431 72.3 429,594,416 903 475,741
North London N1C 4 2,995,068 65.9 71,371,175 79 903,433
East Central London EC1V 8 15,224,606 65.5 68,211,975 117 583,008
West London W1F 0 6,495,233 61.1 17,193,799 13 1,322,600
North London N7 7 45,777,831 55.9 130,107,989 303 429,399
Western Central London WC2H 0 2,749,637 50.1 15,557,000 7 2,222,429
East Central London EC1V 1 5,484,756 45.7 4,638,000 7 662,571
Western Central London WC2E 7 3,581,853 41.8 13,563,874 6 2,260,646

Table 2 – Top ten postcode sectors by total increase in mortgage lending

Postcode Area Sector New Lending  % Increase Total Value of Sales Total Sales Average Price
South East London  SE10 9  144,076,431 72.3 429,594,416 903 475,741
South West London  SW18 3  79,858,124 12.7 406,409,410 528 769,715
North London  N5 1  73,558,729 16.8 367,007,180 528 695,089
South West London  SW12 8  69,750,333 11.4 365,680,743 459 796,690
South West London  SW18 1 69,541,271 11.3 541,478,717 860 629,626
South West London  SW17 8 66,241,205 11.7 315,230,297 524 601,585
South West London  SW11 6 59,508,618 9.2 410,415,418 369 1,112,237
South West London  SW16 6 58,680,073 16.5 212,656,502 570 373,082
Kingston upon Thames  KT2 5 58,411,816 12.7 343,858,833 646 532,289
South West London  SW19 8 58,155,791 10.5 325,823,524 513 635,134

As more and more lending data are released, we’ll be able to build up a better picture of emerging mortgage lending hotspots across London. When we combine this with HM Land Registry data on properties sold, it provides some additional useful context. However, this being the London housing market, with off-plan sales, a high number of cash buyers and commercial investors, a proportion of activity is not picked up by the price paid data. Furthermore, the mortgage lending data at present covers seven banks and three quarters of the market rather than all lending. Nonetheless, by examining patterns of lending and sales we can begin to track local peaks and troughs of activity in new ways. Such an approach could be a valuable addition to the housing data toolkit and, simultaneously, helps underline the value of open data in helping increase our understanding of the market.

Data Sources: HM Land Registry, Price Paid Data (Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0); Council of Mortgage Lenders Postcode Lending Data – also on the Datastore; boundaries by GeoLytix, Postal Boundaries Open –

Sales not included in HM Land Registry Price Paid dataset:

Dr Alasdair Rae is a Senior Lecturer at University of Sheffield. Alasdair’s personal blog is ‘Under the Raedar’.