In the past twelve months, the property market in central London has experienced significant highs and lows. With COVID19 occupying the headlines and the introduction of a national Lockdown in March 2020, understandably the volume in transaction levels declined in the early stages of last year. As the market re-opened for business in May 2020, we witnessed an unexpected surge in demand from buyers, many of whom were looking to change their living arrangements, requiring more outside space and an enhanced live/work balance of accommodation.
This behavioural change coupled with the pent-up demand borne from years of uncertainty over Brexit and potential political change in 2019 meant that the second half of 2020 provided vendors with a great opportunity to sell. Combining these factors resulted in a strong year in terms of volume of sales and prices achieved and it is anticipated that the market for Prime Central London in 2021 will continue in an upward trajectory, both in terms of volume and modest price growth.
One must be mindful that there are a number of factors with which buyers and sellers alike will have to contend. At the time of writing, we are to see the end of the stamp duty holiday at the end of March, which coupled with the new SDLT surcharge for overseas buyers, effective from April 1st 2021 could both impact the market, as could rumoured changes to Capital Gains Tax.
However, there is plenty to be positive about, with a Coronavirus vaccine, low interest rates, weak sterling, a stable government and an economy with plenty of fiscal stimuli. Therefore, we are optimistic that there will continue to be a steady demand for good quality property in the prime areas.