5 Aug

Signs of London market slowdown

Signs of London market slowdown

The heated market in London could be set to cool a little due to a fall in buyer numbers.

However, the rest of the UK is still experiencing a buoyant time as more people look for value for money outside of the capital.

A report from Sequence shows that, excluding London, new buyer registrations rose by 21 per cent over the past 12 months, while the number of new properties coming on to the market is two per cent.

Prices outside of London have risen by one per cent over the last month and eight per cent over the year - with the average price now standing at £175,728.

But in London, the figures are not quite as upbeat. Although there has been a rise of eight per cent in new property instructions over the last month, there has been a 14 per cent drop in buyer registrations in the same period.

House prices were also flat during July, but they remain 21 per cent up compared to 2013, with the average home in the capital now costing £457,833.

"Demand for properties across the UK remains robust with new buyer registrations up over ten times the rate of new instructions which are up two per cent," said David Plumtree, chief executive officer of Sequence.

He added a fall in new buyers has caused a small slowdown in the London market and this has impacted on prices.

"This has led to an adjustment in pricing, with prices remaining flat on the month as vendors look to be more flexible in their views on sale price. There is still a great deal of activity in the market, with the number of viewings and offers up annually by seven per cent and 17 per cent respectively," he explained.

A shift in demand has also meant that buyers are having more influence on prices, especially at the top end of the London market.

Sellers of properties priced above £2 million are finding they have to be more competitive to attract buyers, claims research from estate agency Black Brick.

At the moment, there are close to 2,000 high-end homes for sale in the capital, compared to 1,657 in the whole of 2013.

Camila Dell, head of Black Brick, explained: "It has started to become more of a buyers' market for the first time in a long time, particularly in the super prime upper end of the market at £10 million and above."

She added that the political instability in Ukraine could potentially limit the number of Russian buyers in the city and this would impact on sales.

"Many high end developers are now struggling to find buyers for their trophy mansions, and are having to become more realistic with their asking prices. As such, I believe we could see significant price drops at the super prime end of the market. Indeed, one house in Mayfair has already had a significant price reduction from £120 million down to £95 million," said Ms Dell.ADNFCR-1222-ID-801739894-ADNFCR

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