Buyers hunting property bargains in Belgravia, Mayfair, Chelsea and Kensington have led to the number of home viewings in London’s wealthiest areas rising by almost 50% since the EU referendum.
The surge in interest in prime central London property has been led by overseas investors taking advantage of the fall in the value of sterling following the Brexit vote.
One central London estate agent comments: “Some buyers are coming in, getting an effective 10 or 15% discount through the currency and wanting the same again [off the asking price] on top — which vendors are not necessarily giving them.”
The market for homes in prime central market continues to be driven by international buyers, according to figures from the data provider LonRes, which says about half of buyers are from overseas.
LonRes says that in the months before the EU vote, there was a brake on price growth and sales activity in the central London market.
New data, however, points to a 49.1% increase in viewings in the eight weeks after the Brexit vote when compared with a year earlier, while the number of homes placed under offer also jumped 19% in the same period when compared to 2015.
While many prime central London estate agents think the initial panic about the effect of the Brexit vote is over, it is too soon to assess its full impact.
There remains a lack of available stock in prime central London, created by record-low interest rates which means property owners do not need to sell, and supper-high stamp duty costs for properties that sell for over £1m, which has created a stagnation in the marketplace.
The market appears to be strongest where home owners need to sell because they might be expecting another child or need to relocate.
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