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London top-end property market is showing signs of life, raising hopes among agents and home vendors that an end could be in sight to the prolonged slump.
prices across London prime districts, expensive areas from Hampstead to Richmond, held firm during the second quarter of 2019 for the first time in almost four years, according to Savills, the estate agent. Rivals Knight Frank said the number of offers made on prime London homes in the quarter was the highest in more than a decade.
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The improvement was pronounced with the high end: sales of homes costing more than ê5m rose 12 per cent in the three months compared with a year earlier, according to the data group LonRes the second consecutive quarter of growth.
Analysts and agents said some buyers believe prices may be bottoming out, although the market remains quiet compared with its peak five years ago: transaction levels are still more than 40 per cent below those within the height of the boom, LonRes said.
Robert Bailey, a buying agent, said he had recently arranged purchases of several homes for more than ê30m each. We had a really good year so far. For the past two years you have not been able to persuade people to get off the fence, but that changed now, he said. people started to come back into the market after [prices fell] around 20 per cent.
prices in prime central London are now down 20.2 per cent from their 2014 peak, according to Savills. Fresh falls in sterling during the past two months have made high-end homes look better value to overseas buyers, Mr Bailey said.
Tim Macpherson, head of London residential sales at Carter Jonas, who specialises in homes for the ultra-wealthy, said: The high end has started to come alive, which it hasn been for a long time.
Competitive bidding has re-emerged on some desirable properties, he added.
Across the capital, price falls appear to be moderating: in May prices were declining year-on-year in 65 per cent of local districts, down from a peak of 81 per cent with the start of 2019, according to figures from Zoopla, which said the re-pricing process was moving into its end phase.
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