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More signs of recovery in Prime London market

There’s been a surge in activity in London’s prime housing market according to LonRes.

The property data company says that new instructions in March were 72 per cent higher than in the same month last year, with new listings 24 per cent higher than the five-year average.

Over the whole of Q1 this year, new instructions were up 18 per cent - although a slight one per cent down on the five-year average.


Transaction volumes, as measured by exchanges, in the first three months of 2021 were up 40 per cent on Q1 2020, and 22 per cent higher than the average Q1 figure between 2015 and 2019.

All price brackets recorded an annual increase in sales but the market under £1 million was busiest over the last three months, with a 52 per cent increase in the number of properties sold compared with the same period a year earlier. 

The number of properties going under offer in Q1 2021 was up 26 per cent on Q1 2020 – the highest Q1 figure since 2014.  

Achieved prices over the last three months fell by 2.8 per cent in LonRes’s definition of Prime Central London, and fell 1.9 per cent in Prime London.

Marcus Dixon, head of research at LonRes, says: “The run-up to the end of the stamp duty holiday on 31 March was always going to be a busy time for the housing market and prime London was no different.  

“Encouraging news on the vaccine roll out, together with a detailed road map out of lockdown resulted in a renewed confidence for London’s prime housing market and a surge in activity over the first quarter of the year. 

“With the stamp duty holiday deadline initially set for the end of March, new instructions were subdued.  But the announcement of an extension in the Spring Budget brought with it a rise in the number of new properties coming to the market and boosted the month overall.


“It was the market below £1m that saw the most significant annual increase in sales - unsurprising given this is where the biggest saving, as a proportion of total buying costs, was to be made.  

“But the top end of the market did well too.  Despite travel restrictions still being in place, limiting overseas buyer demand and the stamp duty holiday being of less financial importance we saw transactions rise in this market as well.  Transactions at the top end of the market were higher than both the 2020 and long run average in Q1.”


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