Demand for property in London continues to soar as buyers rush to beat April's forthcoming stamp duty surcharge on investment properties.
Both new buyer registrations and tenancy agreements have jumped as buyers and renters hunt for one-bedroom homes, according to estate agent Marsh & Parsons’ latest London Property Monitor.
There was a 24% rise in the number of new buyers registering in the year to January.
An influx of first-time buyers means mortgage buyers now account for 66% of prime London sales, up from 49% a year ago
The prime London rental market is even more buoyant with the volume of agreed tendencies up 44% from January last year, new figures show.
The surge in demand for prime London properties contrasts with the continued shortage of housing stock in the capital.
The supply of prime London homes in the three months to January fell 12% year-on-year.
This has led to intense competition to own a home in the capital, with 13 buyers for every property at the end of last year.
Peter Rollings, chief executive of Marsh & Parsons, said the London property market has begun 2016 with a spring in its step.
“The New Year always tends to bring a resurgence in purchase activity, as buyers shake off the last of the Christmas holiday haze and re-focus their attention on climbing up, or onto, the ladder.
“But the figures we’re currently seeing are strong even by those standards.
“Private buyers, landlords and other investors are rushing to secure their preferred property before the 1 April stamp duty hike."