Prominent top end London estate agent Trevor Abrahmsohn says some homes in the higher levels of the market may now have prices some 30 to 35 per cent less than at the peak level of 2014.
Abrahmsohn, who runs Glentree Estates covering exclusive properties in north and north west London, says the capital’s troubled prime and super-prime sectors in the first three quarters of 2016 have been hit badly by stamp duty increases and other fiscal changes introduced by former Chancellor George Osborne.
Added to this, he says international buyers have been unsettled “by a myriad of worsening economic influences in the world.”
As a result, he says, “underlying values in the higher levels of the residential property market have probably dropped this year alone by 10 to 15 per cent and circa 30 to 35 per cent from the former highs of 2014.”
His comments come at the same time as another set of downbeat figures from Knight Frank – although it claims prime London properties have fallen just 4.8 per cent over the past year.
Its latest survey includes references to “a re-basing of asking prices” and “overdue asking price reductions” some of which are down to political and economic uncertainty following the EU referendum result, as well as ongoing resistance to higher stamp duty rates.
There has also been a significant drop in sales. “Volumes across the whole market in the three months to the end of November were generally down by approximately 25 per cent compared to the same period in 2015” admits Tom Bill, head of London residential research for the agency.
Even with the ‘re-basing’ vendors are achieving an average of only 91 per cent of their asking prices – although this is an improvement on the 88 per cent achieved during the summer.
In a sign that market power has shifted in favour of buyers, the average number of viewings per transaction has risen by over 50 per cent compared to a year earlier.
Some good news comes in the shape of more buyers registering.
“There was a 23 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of new prospective buyer registrations in the three months to the end of November, which compares to a decline of 6.3 per cent in the first six months of the year” says Bill.
“Our latest forecast points to a levelling-out across the prime central London market in 2017 with an expectation that prices will be flat through the year” he concludes.
In response to the release of the figures, buying agent and market commentator Henry Pryor cautioned that the statistics “look conservative to me.”
Yesterday we reported figures from London agency Portico suggesting that transactions were down on last year by as much as 60 per cent in some prime locations.