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Prime London homebuyer demand stalls in Q1

by LLP Editor
1st Apr 22 10:58 am

The latest property market analysis by London lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, has shown that homebuyer demand across London’s prime market has fallen during the first quarter of this year, although demand across the core prime market of £2m to £10m remains higher than this time last year.

The PCL Homebuyer Demand Index by Benham and Reeves monitors demand for homes valued between £2-£10 million and £10 million and above based on the ratio of properties listed online that have already sold subject to contract or gone under offer. E.g, if 100 homes are listed and 50 are already sold, the demand score would be 50%.

Prime Market – £2m – £10m 

Current demand across the core prime London market currently sits at 25%, down -2% on the final quarter of 2021, but still some 5% up year on year.

While Wapping has seen the largest quarterly increase at 13%, the pandemic influence continues to impact the market with the prime south west areas of Battersea (9%) and Clapham (+6%) also enjoying some the largest increase in buyer demand when compared to the final quarter of 2021.

However, there are clear signs that previous, pandemic induced trends, are also starting to reverse. Having previously seen demand evaporate during much of the pandemic, Canary Wharf has enjoyed the fourth largest quarterly increase with demand up +6%, followed by Maida Vale (+3%).

In terms of the current hottest spots of the core prime market, Clapham (69%), Chiswick (48%), Barnes (43%0, Richmond (43%) and Wandsworth (41%) sit top, while Marylebone (7%), Fitzrovia (8%) and Mayfair (8%) are home to the lowest levels of buyer demand at present.

Super Prime Market – £10m+

At the very top end of the London market, demand sits at just 4% on average having fallen -5% quarterly and -4% on a yearly basis.

Again, there are signs that activity is returning to the traditionally popular locations of the super wealthy homebuyer, with Notting Hill seeing a +11% increase in demand since the final quarter of 2021.

St John’s Wood has also seen a quarterly increase (+4%), as has Hampstead Garden Suburb (+2%) and Chelsea (+2%).

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented:

“Take a temperature test of any property market segment during the first quarter of the year and you’re likely to discover it finding its feet after the Christmas break, so a decline in demand so early in the year is certainly no cause for panic.

What will be telling is how the market reacts going forward under the extraordinarily unique circumstances we currently find ourselves in with the Ukraine conflict.

While the sanctions against Russia only impact a relatively small pocket of the market, the prime market is one that very much operates on quality over quantity. So even if a handful of properties go up for sale, it’s likely to saturate the market in some of capital’s most prestigious neighbourhoods and this is sure to have some impact on the price paid for these properties.”

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