Far from falling – Central London flat prices may be about to take off.
Monday 16th May 2022
By Patrick Bullick
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The excellent and well respected inter-agent and data analysis company lonres.com recently released their analysis for Q1 of the prime Central London property market.
One statistic, amongst many they used, showed the number of sales transactions on flats in the first quarter was 27% fewer than the number in the peak year of 2014.
It is likely entirely accurate but not a statistic that matters. 2014 was a massively distorted year in London property because George Osborne had just announced that he would start to charge non-resident UK property owners Capital Gains Tax and, in his wisdom, also announced huge Stamp Duty increases for higher value property transactions. The net effect was that during 2014 and into 2015 anyone wishing to invest in London focused on sub £1m properties where Stamp Duty was still at a semi-sensible level. Transaction numbers in flats was peculiarly high. By the way, Stamp Duty isn’t semi-sensible any more.
From the way the property press reported the 27% statistic, one could get the impression the values of flats were 27% less - clearly not the case.
I believe lonres.com had been trying to illustrate; that in prime central London there had been an increase in the number of house sales transactions which are usually very low. This is absolutely true, but flat transaction numbers are not far below historic averages.
Our observation is that good flats are very popular and any with their own outside space can go quickly and possibly at a premium.
Many people have left London to live in the countryside but are still dependent on London for their business. Buying flats as pied-à-terres is becoming de rigeur, especially as a shortage of rental flats available means that rental prices have hiked up considerably.
See this super flat with a big roof terrace which we have just put live. Light, bright and with great views - we genuinely love it: http://www.stanleypropertylondon.co.uk/sale/93_marsham-street-sw1p
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