One question we are often asked, particularly by those who aren’t in the market at the moment; "is anyone actually buying residential property in London at the moment?"
The resounding answer is ‘yes’, albeit in lower volumes. Offers are being accepted (and sometimes declined) on a daily basis and there are properties being sold across London every day of the week.
However, to quantify this statement and to get a better understanding of trading conditions, (both in terms of volumes and value) we have undertaken some analysis with Lonres of the central London postcodes including SW1W, SW1X, SW3 and SW7.
It will come as no surprise that in terms of high value transactions, volumes have declined. Our findings show that sales in excess of £2,000/sq ft have dropped significantly and within these postcodes, Lonres recorded 53 sales at £2,000/sq ft + in Q3 2017. In Q3 2018 this number had fallen to 25. A staggering drop of over 50%.
With reference to property types, in terms of the volume of transactions, it may be more surprising to learn that houses have sold more readily than flats. Flats sales have fallen from 109 in Q3 2017 to 94 in Q3 2018, but house sales have risen from 33 in Q3 17 to 46 in Q3 18. A increase of more than 40%.
So what can one interpret from these headlines? We would suggest that the new norm for the London market is one reflecting a needs based market, with people buying homes to live in, as opposed to the more discretionary apartment market.
For how long this trend will continue is anyone's guess but what we do know for sure is that whilst transactions are taking place, they remain subject to realistic asking prices.