Prime central London property market sees second quarter of sales decline

Taylor Scott International News

The prime central London property market is seeing further adjustments with the latest figures showing that the overall value of properties transacted is down 21.1%. Properties under £2 million saw a decrease of 20.8%, while those in the £2 million to £5 million bracket went down by 27.1% in the third quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. The data from Strutt & Parker also shows that £5 million plus homes performed slightly better, but still saw a decline of 15.2%. A similar pattern emerged in terms of volume sales, which were down 26.8% overall, with all price bands seeing a reduction in the number of transactions. However, the firm points out that when looking back over the past five years, these statistics are not so concerning as the volume of transactions are actually up by 3.1% compared to the rolling five year quarterly average. Over the past five years, the £2 million to £5 million price bracket has seen a 20.9% increase, and the £5 million plus bracket is up by 19.6%. In contrast, the sub £2 million price bracket is marginally down by 2%. ‘Whilst total values transacted in central London are markedly down on this time last year, we must have a sense of perspective and accept that 2013 was an exceptional year. It is really not surprising that prices are stabilising after the dramatic price increases we saw over the past 12 months,’ said Stephanie McMahon, head of research at Strutt & Parker. ‘Sales volumes are also showing a slowdown and two quarters of data do suggest a trend of decline. This is as we predicted. We have seen these conditions before in the run up to a General Election when speculation mounts. It is a recognisable pattern and we do not believe it spells doom for the property market in the long term,’ she added. According Lulu Egerton, Partner at Strutt & Parker in Chelsea, there is no doubt that prime central London property is in the midst of a price correction. ‘Properties which are priced competitively and realistically are still selling and we are achieving good figures,’ she said. ‘After a spectacular year in 2013, asking prices had become inflated and they are now in a period of correction where prices are being adjusted down by around 5% to 10% as buyers become far more price sensitive,’ she added. Continue reading →

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