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Early Signs That Prime Central London Market is Picking Up

Friday 30 June 2017

Prices for luxury homes in central London flatlined in June—a sign that prices, while stagnant, are unlikely to decline as badly as they did in 2016, according to a report Friday by property consultancy Knight Frank.

Overall, prime homes in the city’s center logged a 0.3% price decline in the second quarter, the lowest three-month fall since early 2016, according to the report.

A cocktail of increased stamp duty and political uncertainty around Bexit and the General Election in June has roiled London’s luxury market, cooling sentiment and activity over the past year. Prices have fallen by 6.3% in the past 12 months.

But with the election over, the U.K.’s prime property market is picking up again, wrote Tom Bill, head of London residential research, in the report.

Anecdotal evidence suggests activity has been relatively healthy in the period following the election, in particular as a greater degree of flexibility emerges in relation to asking prices,” Mr. Bill said in the report.

Meanwhile, the data—i.e. flat price growth in May and June—signal “a trend that provides further evidence that the price falls seen in 2016 are unlikely to be repeated this year,” Mr. Bill said.

Transaction volume between January and May had also increased over last year by 14.2%, and even outpaced activity in 2015 by 8.7%, another sign the market is improving.

In the past year, the strongest-performing segment of the prime market has been homes priced between £5 million and £10 million, which has logged annual price growth of 1% over the past year.

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