Sellers have slashed nearly £1bn off the asking prices of homes currently for sale in London, buying agent Garrington Property Finders has found.
The analysis, which looked at the asking prices of thousands of homes for sale in London’s 52 most desirable postcode districts, found that the average property is currently listed at 9% below its original price, equating to an average price cut of £223,000.
Jonathan Hopper, managing director Garrington Property Finders, said: “2017 was not a year for the faint-hearted in London’s prime property market. Prices fell in many of the most prestigious areas, even if the number of sales was no lower than that of 2016.
“Acute price sensitivity among buyers continues to force sellers to reduce their expectations, and in the most expensive areas this is throwing up some striking discounts.”
The discounts are greatest in the most expensive areas. In the elite enclave of St James’s and Victoria, prices have been cut by an average of 14.1% or £765,919.
Meanwhile in Knightsbridge asking prices have been slashed by 12.1%, equating to an average discount of £927,188.
By contrast at the more affordable end of the prime spectrum, the discounts are smaller. The average reduction on homes currently for sale in both Wandsworth and Kennington is 6.5%. And in 2017 the average property sold in these areas went for 95% of its original asking price.
The immediate driver of such dramatic price cuts is softening demand – with sellers slashing prices to stimulate buyer interest.
In six of the seven areas with the greatest reductions, more than half of the properties currently for sale have been on the market for over half a year.
Hopper added: “The slowing of the capital’s prime market predates Brexit – it was triggered instead by 2015’s punitive increases to the highest rates of stamp duty.
“With the buyers of high value homes facing the prospect of paying hundreds of thousands in tax, vendors are frequently sharing the pain by offering corresponding discounts.
“While the jury is still out on whether property prices in the rest of the country will follow prime London’s lead, such large discounts are creating opportunities for pragmatic and astute buyers – and we’re seeing renewed interest in the capital from both British and overseas buyers keen to pounce before prices recover.”