London estate agency Benham & Reeves says there’s been a sharp fall-off in demand for ultra-expensive homes in prime suburbs of the capital.
The agency looked at prime London’s property hotspots and the demand for homes listed in three price categories - between £2m and £5m, between £5m and £10m, and then over £10m.
In the £2m to £5m bracket, demand remains “robust” according to the agency. Richmond is the most in-demand of all prime London locations at this price bracket, with 40 per cent of all homes listed still under offer or SSTC despite the spread of the Coronavirus.
Barnes, Clapham, Wimbledon and Chiswick also scored highly.
In the £5m to £10m category, demand has dipped although there remain a number of areas where homebuyer activity remains robust. Again this includes Barnes, Wimbledon and Richmond - joined in this bracket by Pimlico.
But it is the super-prime £10m-plus threshold that has seen homebuyer demand take the biggest hit.
With demand as a whole at just two per cent, there are a total of 13 areas where demand sits at just about zero according to the agency, with a further seven areas where no homes are listed above this threshold.
Highgate is the most in-demand for these ultra-expensive homes along with Notting Hill, Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Chelsea - but overall demand is muted according to Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves.
“In times of crisis, the UK property market relies upon factors of necessity amongst home movers such as death, divorce and employment patterns. However, the present situation is preventing all but the most committed buyers from transacting and this is no different in the prime and super-prime echelons of the London market” he says.
“In theory, current conditions should suit the capital’s super-wealthy as this area of the market has always been about quality over quantity, private sales and the purchase of homes that lay empty and ready to be lived in. But the spread of the Coronavirus is having a big impact on buyer sentiment and this is remarkably evident in areas where there is currently no buyer demand at all; a phenomenon rarely seen in a market as popular as London.”
Meanwhile, serving the high end London market, the LonRes off-market service, launched in August last year, passed the £1 billion mark this week.
Properties listed on the service range in price from £350,000 to £45m and managing director Anthony Payne says: “Particularly in these times when sellers may be hesitant about launching their property on to the open market, this service provides agents with an effective, softer option to offer their clients.”