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Property transactions in central London in March up on 2015

Prime properties in central London rose in March compared with the same time last year and it is the first rise in 2016 according to new data. The dash to complete sales has been fuelled to beat the 3% stamp duty surcharge, however year on year growth indicated that this has slowed down to 0.8% which is the lowest figure recorded in six years.

The data has been released by estate firm Knight Frank and they attribute the peak in transactions as the incentive to act quickly before the April introduction of the new stamp duty rate on additional homes. The first quarter of this year has been flat in January and hardly much better in February, confirming the general slowdown in the rate of sales growth seen over the last eighteen months..

Tom Bill, head of London residential research pointed out that it was the media that was focussing on the tax changes, this has seen  is a growing recognition on the part of vendors that the prime central London property market, can no longer be considered to be on an upward trajectory, for the foreseeable future anyway. He went on to say: “As vendors become more attuned to current market conditions and adjust asking prices, the effect is to drive demand. Asking prices are typically declining by in excess of 10% to attract price sensitive buyers.”

Knight Frank issued a warning that properties in the western markets of the capital will decline by about 2%, but was more upbeat regarding the market to the east of Mayfair and south of the Thames, predicting a growth of 5% here. It is the tax changes they suggest that has dampened demand for higher value western areas around Hyde Park, but not so in lower value markets, citing how prices have increased by 8.2% in Islington and by 8.1% in City and Fringe. Prices also increased by 3% in Southbank, by 2.9% in Riverside, by 2.6% in Mayfair, by 1.8% in Kensington and by 1.2% in Marylebone.

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