Central London Property Transactions Starting To Improve
Despite property transactions in Greater London falling by more than a fifth since 2014, recent data has found that property transactions in the capital may be on an upward trajectory once again.
According to London Central Portfolio, quarterly transactions in Greater London have improved by 13.8% from the start of the year.
Although on a annual basis the 86,338 transactions represents a decrease of 3.2%, this shortfall is narrowing despite Brexit and political uncertainty.
Similarly, sales in central London have increased by 37.9% in the opening quarter of the year when compared with the final quarter of 2018.
Whilst these figures are still 40% lower than transaction data prior to the EU referendum, there is evidence to suggest that the London market may be recovering.
This sentiment could be reflected in the property prices around central London with the current average price of £628,283 now a record high for the region. It also represents a 1.7% increase between April and May and a 3.2% increase over the quarter.
Naomi Heaton, LCP Chief Executive, says:
“The wait and see attitude, endemic since the EU Referendum in 2016, appeared to start turning ahead of the Brexit deadline of March 29th with investors wanting to capitalise on weak sterling and discounted prices.
“Whilst the extension of the [Brexit] deadline appeared to have initially dampened investors’ enthusiasm, there has been a notable change in market sentiment and several estate agents are reporting improved trading conditions. It would appear investors are no longer prepared to sit on the side-lines whilst the UK makes up its mind.
“Historically, the prime central London market has bounced back swiftly when sentiment improves, so the window of opportunity to cut a good deal at rock bottom prices could well be a small one.
“Higher purchase costs, political uncertainty and short-sighted policies aimed at winning easy votes continue to hamper recovery.
“With the Conservative leadership contest ongoing and the prospect of a hard Brexit, what the rest of the year will bring and its impact on the housing market is hard to predict. Nevertheless, it appears that investors, if not domestic home buyers, are increasingly unwilling to wait.”
Have you noticed more investors returning to the market? Are you finding an increase in property transactions in recent months?