House prices in central London continue to defy the rest of the UK market and are now 20% higher than their previous top-of-the-market peak in 2007.
Agents Cluttons says that domestic and overseas buyers are tussling over the relatively few properties for sale.
Cluttons said that the keen interest and the shortage of stock is creating a strong seller’s market, with applicants up almost 50% in the last two months.
James Hyman, partner for residential sales at Cluttons, said: “Activity levels in central London are picking up rapidly as buyers recognise that price growth is set to continue for the foreseeable future. They are keen to buy sooner rather than later, when the market is likely to be even stronger.
“Central London property has proved to be the only stable investment throughout the downturn, and increasing numbers of domestic and overseas purchasers are trying to buy a stake in it.”
Meanwhile, Knight Frank said that just under 60% of all new-build property sold in central London in the last six months went to Asian buyers.
Hong Kong buyers were the largest group (24%), followed by Singaporeans (12%) and mainland Chinese (10%), and then other countries in the region.
Knight Frank said it has sold £120m of its London property to Asian buyers in the last two months alone, with particular success in the £400k to £1m price bracket.