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Prime London: prices fall, activity rises

Transactions in prime central London picked up in March due to falling asking prices and the buy-to-let stamp duty surcharge.

Latest research from Knight Frank suggests that prime London is showing signs of “springtime momentum”, as buyers spot better value in the market.

Transaction volumes rose in March compared to last year, the first increase in 2016, with April’s 3% stamp duty rise and double-digit declines in asking prices the main factors.


However, annual price growth slowed to 0.8%, the lowest figure for more than six years

Tom Bill, Knight Frank's head of London residential research, said the incentive to act before April was behind recent transactions growth in the capital. 

“This bucked the trend of the first quarter of 2016, where volumes were flat in January and marginally down in February.

“However, the other factor at play is a marked slowdown in the rate of annual growth over the last 18 months. 

“It is the result of a series of tax changes and a preceding period of exceptional growth, which is also a topic that is increasingly covered by the media.

“As a result, there is a growing recognition on the part of vendors that the prime central London property market is no longer on the upwards trajectory it was in the years following the financial crisis.”


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