Prime Central London ‘stirs into life’ after two quiet years
Prime Central London’s property market has “stirred into life” after two quiet years and six years of falling prices, with agents recording more activity in PCL than in other parts of the country through Q1.
Buyer demand and action has been “notably stronger” inside Zone 1 compared to the wider London market and rest of the country in the last few months, says the firm.
The number of new prospective buyers registering with agents in PCL in Q1 was 84% higher than the five-year average. That compares to an increase of 71% across the whole of London and 42% in UK regional markets.
104% more offers were accepted via the agency in PCL over the same period, compared to +83% in Greater London and +43% in country markets.
“While other UK property markets stole the headlines during the pandemic thanks to the much-publicised ‘race for space’, Prime Central London is now moving back into the spotlight,” “The fact prices have been falling for six years helps.”
Average prices in PCL are 16% lower than they were at the start of 2016, according to various agents data. That compares to a 9% decline in prime outer London and a 13% increase in country markets. Agents reckon Prime London prices are 18.2% below 2014 levels.
Prices fell in PCL following tax changes in 2014, then years of political uncertainty created by 2016’s Brexit vote.
“People have worked out that there are hotspots of good value in prime central London,” comment agents. “For example, you can buy a freehold house in Belgravia for less than £2,000 per square foot at the moment.”
“The key question is when international buyers will return in meaningful numbers. While overseas activity was strong in the final three months of last year after travel rules were relaxed in October, it has been more sporadic this year, initially due to the arrival of the Omicron variant at Christmas.
Given the extent of lockdowns in some parts of the world still, any return of overseas buyers is likely to be gradual rather than transformational.
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