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Brexit-related uncertainty leads to big slump in high-end London sales

Knight Frank says Brexit-related uncertainty has curbed trading activity across all UK residential markets over the last 12 months - and in prime areas of London the most expensive homes, at £10m or more, have seen a massive 19 per cent drop in transactions.

However, at the still more rarified sector of £20m-plus properties, there were 38 deals done in London in 2018 - that’s the highest number for four years.

The agency suggests the Brexit-fuelled weakness of the pound has sustained demand for expensive homes from foreign buyers, and says the effective discounts available for a range of overseas currencies since the EU referendum are similar to those seen in the 12 months following the collapse of Lehman Brothers. 

In terms of areas showing a growth in transactions in 2018, the agency highlights Notting Hill and Mayfair. 

Meanwhile another high-end agency - Hamptons International - says net sales from its London team are five per cent down on 2016, although are showing an improvement at least over last year’s figure.

Hamptons says stock levels in the capital are down eight per cent this year compared to last, but its London offices have so far in 2019 registered nine per cent more applicants and have seen an 18 per cent gain in net sales when compared to the same five month period a year ago.

Between January until the end of May 2019 Hamptons International’s London offices also recorded 24 per cent fewer fall throughs than the same time last year.

In the first quarter of 2019, London sellers achieved 99 per cent of their asking price compared to 97% in 2018 – the lowest it had been since 2012.

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    "Brexit-related". What a load of tosh. Prices in London are correcting from a bubble phase. Everyone can see that taxes on property in the UK are much too low. In almost all other civilised countries (USA, Germany, Belgium etc.) owners pay 1.5% - 2.5% a year on the value of their homes. That is a nailed on certainty to be introduced in the UK soon, and it might be as soon as 6 months. Once owners of £2mm houses in London have to find £40-45k a year of extra post tax income to pay the tax, and once mortgage lenders start deducting it from affordability criteria, we are going to see a collapse in prices. Anyone buying at London's still inflated prices now is a fool.

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