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London property prices at close to record levels

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16/05/2011

Fewer sellers, the bonus season and overseas demand are all pushing London property prices to just £77 off the all-time high hit in April last year.


New property listings at property website Rightmove fell 30% over the extended bank holiday period, falling from around 4,300 per week to roughly 3,000.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove said: “Buyers seem to have the hunger to satisfy the appetite for higher financial returns being demanded by sellers, and while prices have effectively stood still month-on-month, the fact they have not dropped back substantially shows that the testing of new highs did not meet with much resistance.”

The “unique wealth profile” of the capital means that buyers seem to have plenty of ready cash, he said, and if sellers have the property they want, then high prices can be asked and achieved, unlike the mortgage constrained buyers elsewhere in the UK.

Shipside added: “With new seller levels down some 30% over the extended bank holiday period and agents reporting strong spring buyer demand, the result has been a consolidation of prices at these record levels.”

According to property agency Knight Frank, prices in the Capital rose 1% in April, pushing growth over the last 12 months to 8.3% with the typical prime central London property rising by £767 every day for 12 months.

The estate agency firm said the average values for prime residential property in central London have risen by 31.2% since March 2009 from the post-credit crunch market peak.

The market is being led by properties in the £1m to £5m price bracket, which have seen prices rise by nearly 4% in the past 3 months, with the strongest markets in Mayfair, Marylebone, St John’s Wood and Kensington, which have all risen 10% in the past 12 months.

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