Annual prime central London transactions drop

Michael Lloyd

July 29, 2019

MPs debate SDLT holiday

In June there were just 3,244 annual transactions in prime central London (PCL), a drop of 13.1% year-on-year, according to the LCPAca Resi Index for June. 

It also shows that transactions are still 12.5% less than the very lowest point in the global financial crisis. However, in the short-term there has been a marked quarterly increase of 23%.

Property developer Keshava Raghubeer of Sixteen South West said the results were unsurprising.

He added: “London, as with the rest of the UK is in a state of flux. The country is continuing to look for a new normal.

“As we move closer to an outcome on Brexit markets should level. London is a global city and will always attract investment.

“The same can be said for the UK in general. London will bounce back.”

Average annual prices in PCL in June were at £1,878,004 – a static picture when compared to 2018. Whilst there has been a monthly fall of 2.2%, quarterly prices have risen 2.7%.

Average prices in Greater London for June stand at £624,241. This represents an increase of 1.7% for the month and the strongest performance over the year. Annual prices have increased by 1% over 2018.

Whilst there are signs of an improving market, London property faces further headwinds. The new Tory leadership and a ‘do or die’ stance on exiting the EU by October 31 may bring further uncertainty to our political climate.

Terry Pritchard, chief executive of Charter HCP, said: “It is disappointing to hear further claims that the prime central London market is underperforming.

“It has been said many times before, but it is worth remembering, that the PCL was performing at a level that was unsustainable over the long-term.

“The old adage of ‘what goes up, must come down’ has never been so apt. London remains a powerhouse and any market correction will eventually find its level.

“What impact the new government will make is too early to tell. However, London will remain an international city and a strong investment area for those looking for solid returns.”

Whilst many commentators are reporting that the regions are still seeing strong price growth, this has not been reflected in the overall picture for England and Wales.

Average prices in England and Wales, excluding Greater London, were £255,050 for June. This represents a quarterly fall of 0.1% and negligible annual growth of 0.3%, the lowest rate since 2011.

Despite a 13.0% rise over the last quarter, annual transactions have fallen at the fastest rate since the global financial crisis (GFC), decreasing 2.5% this year to 781,005.

This is the third successive year of falls with transactions 29.2% lower than before the GFC. Any economic fallout from Brexit may significantly worsen the picture.

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