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What’s happening to prime central London property prices?

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4th Apr 18 7:50 am

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Average prices in prime central London fell 1.1 per cent in the year to March, according to Knight Frank.

It was the fourth consecutive marginal annual adjustment and means prices are eight per cent below their previous peak in August 2015.

As pricing in prime central London has stabilised, so have trading volumes. There was a two per cent increase in sales volumes in the year to February 2018 compared to the previous 12-month period, LonRes data shows.
While the market remains sensitive to political events there currently appears to be a sense of (relative) stability being restored The impact of stamp duty has been substantially absorbed and is now an accepted cost of transacting.
Indeed, an analysis of asking price reductions over the last year shows pricing has more than adjusted to take higher transaction costs into
account. This over-compensation suggests the market has also undergone a process of self-correction following the bull market run between 2009 and 2014.

The average asking price adjustment for sales between £1m and £5m was -9.9 per cent in the year to February 2018, LonRes data shows. To put this in context, the difference between the new and old rates of stamp duty as a percentage of a £5m sale is 3.3 per cent. For a £2m sale, the equivalent figure is 2.7 per cent.
There is evidence that property owners are responding to the fact pricing and sales volumes are bottoming out.

The number of properties listed for sale in prime central London was 5.4 per cent higher in February 2018 than the same month last year, Rightmove data shows.

Meanwhile, the equivalent difference in the lettings market was -21.2 per cent, which will also reflect the recent additional tax burdens for landlords.
However, we do not believe the sales market is poised to enter a strong upswing in terms of pricing or trading volumes.

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