Sales Market
Spring 2019

Average prices across the capital were 3.8% lower in the year to the end of February, according to the UK House Price Index, the lowest annual level of house price growth since September 2009. Knight Frank report that across prime central London average prices were down 5.1% in the year to the end of March, while LonRes report at £1,366 average prices per square foot were 5.7% lower in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the year previously.

Across prime central London transaction volumes across the market in the first quarter of 2019 were just 1.3% down on 2018 (LonRes), with buyers, especially at the lower end of the market, keen to complete deals. There was a 9% increase in sales of properties priced less than £1 million, while property sales between £1-£3 million also showed an uptick. In comparison sales of mid-market (£3-£5 million) and ultra-prime (£10 million+) properties fell sharply, undoubtedly the result of the political mayhem surrounding Brexit.

Knight Frank report an 11.3% increase in the number of new prospective buyers registering in prime central and prime outer London in the year to March, with a 14.3% increase in the number of offers. In contrast, new listings fell by 12.5%. The ratio of new buyers to listings now stands at 9:1, a record high. The imbalance between demand versus supply clearly indicates the potential for upward pressure on activity and prices once clarity emerges. While the announcement that the Brexit exit date has been pushed back to 31st October 2019 has resulted in a calming of the political storm, its impact on the property market is as yet unknown. Much of the year may well be marked by continued low sales volumes and price weakness as buyers and sellers remain hesitant.