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Prime property sales continue to fall, says Coutts

06/02/2019 News Team,

Sales transactions in Prime Central London in the last quarter of 2018 were 12.7 percent down on Q4 2017, according to the latest Coutts London Prime Property Index.

Additionally, prices fell by 6.8 percent from the same quarter last year. 

However, London’s super prime properties valued at over £10 million continue to sell fast and fetch their asking price, perhaps proving there’s “always a place for super prime property,” as Katherine O’Shea, part of the Coutts strategic solutions team said.

These high-end properties are selling within three months on average, representing the shortest period since the start of 2016. Only a fifth are being sold at a discount, the lowest number for three years.

The greatest number of super prime sales occurred in Knightsbridge & Belgravia.

Despite this, the broader prime property market continues to suffer as high-end London homes, which are classed as those valued between £1 million and £10 million, are taking over five months to change hands. This represents a 10 percent rise on how long they took at the tail-end of 2017. 

Over half are selling below asking price with the average discount being 13 percent. Sales are down too, with the number of London’s prime properties sold in the last three months of 2018 down 12 percent. 

This is happening despite prices being seven percent lower than the same period last year and 17 percent below their 2014 peak.

Focusing on specific areas, the index shows that alongside Hampstead & Highgate, prime properties in Knightsbridge & Belgravia are staying on the market longer, taking 25 percent more time to sell than a year ago. 

However, King’s Cross & Islington has seen prices rise in the past year. As the only area to do this, it saw an eight percent rise across the year despite falling during quarter three.

Other positives can be found in Kensington, Notting Hill & Holland Park, and Marylebone, Fitzrovia & Soho, with properties selling up to 20 percent faster compared with the same period last year. 

Alex Lyneel, head of mortgage proposition, concluded: “Overall, London presents a difficult environment for investors looking to make short-term gains from prime property. 

“Across prime London, property prices are lower than they used to be but sales volumes are really taking a hit too. But those buyers who find a property they like and want to keep are therefore uniquely positioned to negotiate a good discount – especially those who are cash-rich and chain-free.”

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