Benham and Reeves: Demand falls for London homes listed at £10m

Jessica Bird

May 20, 2020

prime London market

Demand for homes listed at £10m and above across London’s prime suburbs has fallen to 2%, according to research by lettings and estate agent Benham and Reeves. 

The research looked at London’s property hotspots and the demand for homes listed at £2-5m, £5-10m and £10m.

In the £2-5m market, demand remains fairly robust at 15% on average.

Richmond is the most in-demand of all prime London locations within this price bracket, with 40% of all homes listed still under offer or sold subject to contract (SSTC) despite the spread of the coronavirus.

Barnes (38%), Clapham (32%), Wimbledon (29%) and Chiswick (28%) are also amongst the most popular.

In the £5-10m bracket, demand drops to 10%.

However, Barnes (56%), Wimbledon (33%), Richmond (25%) and Pimlico (19%) remain popular in this market.

However, at this price bracket demand for housing is currently non-existent in Fitzrovia, Marylebone, Maida Vale, Regents Park, Canary Wharf, Battersea, Wandsworth and Chiswick.

Where properties are listed at £10m or more, there are three areas where demand sits at 0%, with a further seven areas where no homes are listed above this threshold.

Highgate is the most in-demand at 8%, along with Notting Hill (6%), Knightsbridge (5%), Mayfair (4%) and Chelsea (2%).

Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, said: “In times of crisis, the UK property market relies upon factors of necessity amongst home movers such as death, divorce and employment patterns.

“However, the present situation is preventing all but the most committed buyers from transacting and this is no different in the prime and super-prime echelons of the London market.

“In theory, current conditions should suit the capital’s super-wealthy as this area of the market has always been about quality over quantity, private sales and the purchase of homes that [lie] empty and ready to be lived in.

“But the spread of the coronavirus is having a big impact on buyer sentiment and this is remarkably evident in areas where there is currently no buyer demand at all; a phenomenon rarely seen in a market as popular as London.

“Prime work hubs such as Battersea and Canary Wharf have seen offices close and companies tighten their belts with employment, with demand dropping off as a result.

“The economic consequences of the current pandemic are causing even the wealthiest of buyers to put a second London home purchase on ice, both due to the financial commitment and the fear of an almost immediate drop in values should the market crash.

“In addition to this, restrictions around living have had a big impact on the traditionally popular areas of Belgravia, Fitzrovia, Holland Park and other areas within the inner city.

“What we are seeing is a consistent level of demand in more peripheral areas with the sought after features of a lockdown purchase such as Richmond, Barnes and Clapham.

“These areas generally allow for more space both within the property and its grounds and more bricks and mortar for your money.

“They are home to a greater abundance of nearby green space in the immediate vicinity and are less densely populated than the majority of inner London areas.

“All of which are features that are currently resonating with high-end buyers, until the dust has settled at the very least.”

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