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Written by rosalind renshaw

Stock levels in prime central London are down by 25% on last year, say Cluttons – resulting in ‘extraordinary’ levels of competition.

The firm says that in certain hotspots such as Chelsea and South Kensington, deals are being agreed within hours of a property coming on to the market, often after just one viewing.

Buyers frustrated by a lack of options are also paying well above the asking price in order to secure a home on a specific road.

Two flats Cluttons recently sold on South Kensington’s Onslow Square went to sealed bids, resulting in deals being agreed over £100,000 above the asking price.

Charlie Noel-Buxton, partner for residential sales, said: “House hunters in prime Central London, starved of options, are going to great lengths to secure a property when it comes on to the market, particularly those on the most desirable roads.

“We believe registered demand underestimates the underlying level, with new instructions attracting a rush of applicants who aren’t registering with agents until they see a property they like. It’s a seller’s market.”