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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Transaction volumes plunge in London - prime central areas hit worst

There’s more bad news for the long-troubled Prime Central London market.

A new analysis shows that transaction volumes have plunged 11.6 per cent in the year to August, and they are now a full 42 per cent below 2014 levels.

The collapse in transactions of new-build flats and houses has been even worse in the past year - down 16.3 per cent.

The data comes in the latest analysis of the PCL area by London Central Portfolio, a property investment consultancy.

London Central Portfolio says average prices in August (excluding new build) in Prime Central London stand at £1,781,090 - this is a nominal increase of 1.5 per cent over the year. This may be cause for some cheer, as price rises over the past four years were only 0.2 per cent.

New build prices remain at a high premium of 44.6 per cent over existing stock and now stand at £2,863,621.

However, LCP warns that transactions continue to remain “stubbornly depressed” at 3,771 - a record low. 

“It is the first time that annual transactions have remained below 4,000 for five consecutive months since records were first published. This continued slide is putting further pressure on sellers, estate agents and home builders alike. It is also likely to reduce tax revenues for the Treasury” says the consultancy.

“There has been no action or initiative from the Government that gives any indication that this trend will change. The housing market appears to be the least of the government’s worries with a potential ‘No Deal’ Brexit on the horizon. Whilst uncertainty continues, it is bound to stifle homeowner and investor interest. However, a significant buying opportunity exists before positive sentiment returns and the market rallies” it continues.

The picture is only slightly better across Greater London as a whole (excluding Prime Central areas). 

Average prices in August for this definition of Greater London, excluding new build, stands are £594,123 - this is 2.6 per cent rise.

However, in Greater London, too, transactions remain in a downward direction - they fell 6.0 per cent in the year. Again, new build transactions have performed much worse, falling 14.9 per cent over the year.

New build prices are at a record high of £644,022, representing a 17.3 per cent premium over existing stock.

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    "A significant market opportunity" eh? I don't see it. PCL prices are so wildly out of line with historical averages that they could fall 40% and still be expensive (not my analysis, but KPMG). The reason transaction volumes have slumped to almost zero is because almost every potential buyer now sees that prices are going a long way south before they find a bottom. But of course greedy sellers will have to be dragged kicking and screaming to make the adjustment.

  • James Robinson

    Can everyone please stop blaming Brexit, it is the huge Stamp Duty that has killed the PCL market

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