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Is the party over for prime central London?

The prime central London property market has endured a "subdued summer" after the excitement of recent years.

Annual price growth of 1.7% was the lowest in more than five years, according to new research from Knight Frank.

Annual growth is just 0.4% in longer-established prime central London markets.


This follows new research by the CBRE’s which shows the top end of the prime central London market now ranks among the most expensive property markets in the world.

Its Global Living Report says prime central London property costs $3,000 per square foot, compared to $1,300 at the very top end of the market in Dubai. 

Average property prices are highest in Hong Kong at $1,337 per square foot, against $996 in London and $819 in New York.

Knight Frank said buyers have been in a more restrained mood as they digest a rise in stamp duty and global economic events.

The increase in stamp duty for more expensive markets has given some buyers pause for thought, alongside uncertainty in China.

Sales volumes were down by a fifth in the three months to July compared to 2014, the figures show.

The market may rally in the autumn as an increasing stock lined up for sale should spur fresh demand.

Tom Bill, Knight Frank's head of London residential research, said the uncertainty caused by China’s currency devaluation on the prime central London property market has been twofold.

“One the one hand, it has caused some buyers to postpone decision-making until there is a greater sense of certainty.

“On the other, there is evidence Chinese buyers have stepped up their interest in safe haven global property markets like London and are increasingly looking for homes in golden postcode neighbourhoods like Mayfair, although it is too early to discern any impact on transaction levels."

Chinese buyers have traditionally focused on new-build properties but they are increasingly considering period properties and higher price brackets, Bill said.


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