One of Britain's leading buying agencies say transactions at the very highest end of the London market may be as much as 40 per cent down as a result of stamp duty changes and the absence of any significant market recovery since the election.
The very expensive prime property market is often shrouded in secrecy, with its transactions not always recorded in the welter of price indices that track what is happening in the mainstream market.
But Roarie Scarisbrick, a partner at Property Vision, says that despite the threat of mansion tax and a possible Labour government, the pre-election period was the best part of this year for prime London in particular. However, since May's polling day there have been problems.
"Post-election, despite the fuzzy feeling of a Tory government and the death of mansion tax, the market went the other way and the boom failed to materialise, mainly because vendors felt empowered and less inclined to give anything" he says.
“It looks like transactions are somewhere between 30 and 40 per cent down on last year in the year to date figures for the central [London] postcodes and while there is still a functioning market, the September activity which the selling agents were hoping for does not so far seem to have materialised" he says.
“Looking through the figures, there is a lot going through at or over asking prices, but the majority go through at 5.0 per cent or so below asking, with some up to 10.0 per cent off" he says.
Scarisbrick says his favourite transaction has been "a big house which was reduced from £125m to £85m in one fell swoop."