Worst over for London’s prime market, as prices and falling interest begin to stabilise?

Signs point to a rebound in the depressed Prime Central London (PCL) market in 2017, with agents recording rises in transactions as well as stabilising prices during recent months.

Transactions across the PCL market were 27 per cent down in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year, according to Strutt & Parker’s latest report. However, the report also highlighted that transactions have increased consecutively over the past three quarters, including Q1 2017.

Further to that, following a year-on-year drop in value of approximately seven per cent in 2016, leaving values around 13 per cent down from the 2014 peak, the agency believe the PCL market may have already experienced the bulk of price falls.

“We have seen a positive change in buyer sentiment and an uplift in transaction levels in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the end of last year,” said a spokesperson at the London agency. “Values have now softened by up to 10 per cent and buyers realised there are good opportunities out there. Meanwhile sellers are beginning to understand the importance of realistic pricing. Stamp duty which was a concern for many buyers last year, is no longer causing such an issue and the market has absorbed this extra taxation.”

It is also thought that Sterling’s recent weakness has helped attract foreign buyers to London, in particular in the higher value market sector. That said, UK domestic buyers remain dominant in the PCL market, thanks largely to British expats seeking homes in the £2m-plus sector, with many taking advantage of the US dollar strength against Sterling.