The number of cash buyers in London has recently plummeted by very nearly a fifth - and every other part of the UK has seen a fall, too.
The property management firm Apropos by DJ Alexander says the number of cash sales in London was down 19.8 per cent between 2017 and 2018.
There were also steep falls elsewhere - down 14.5 per cent in the East of England and down 14.3 per cent in the South East.
Average prices for cash sales in London also fell over the same period but declining by just 0.7 per cent.
The firm says all the national regions of the UK recorded falls in the volume of cash buyers during the same period.
England saw a 13.3 per cent drop; Wales was down 6.6 per cent; and Scotland fell 2.9 per cent.
And all the main regions in England have lost cash buyers too, with the South West down 12.9 per cent; East Midlands falling 12.5 per cent; Yorkshire drops 12.1 per cent; the North East down 11.6 per cent; West Midlands losing 10.7 per cent; and the North West 10.0 per cent.
This has occurred at a time when mortgage volumes have fallen across most of the UK but by much smaller margins.
“It is clear that cash buyers are viewing property investment as more of a risk due to the uncertainties caused by Brexit, the direction of the economy, and more stringent taxation and regulation on property investment” says David Alexander, joint managing director of Apropos.
“Cash investors have many options and these figures would indicate that property appears to be taking a back seat for the moment” he adds.
“London, as has been well documented, is undergoing a prolonged downturn in prices so it is only natural that many investors will be put off property if values are to remain static for a year or two. There will almost certainly be better returns to be made elsewhere. An overheated market is rarely one which produces profit.”
And he concludes: “There is an argument for simply shifting location in property investment from one part of the country to another. Scotland, for example, does not seem to have experienced the exodus of cash buyers indicating a positive view of the property market north of the border. Cash buyers leaving London and the South East will be able to buy a lot more for their money in many other parts of the country, so we may see some of that in the months and years to come.”