Quarterly transactions in the Prime Central London (PCL) sector jumped 18.3 per cent in the first three months of 2019, according to a report by London Central Portfolio (LCP), a real estate investment firm.
The quarterly rise came despite a 15.7 per cent decline on an annual basis, with the volume of sales in the PCL sector sitting at 3,378 transactions in total by March 2019.
Brexit uncertainty has no doubt contributed to the fluctuations in investor sentiment in the UK housing market in 2019 and the delay of Article 50 until October 2019 was reported to have resulted in a spring-time bounce in house prices, according to a survey by Rightmove.
Premium for London new builds
Despite the quarterly bounce in transactions for prime London properties, LCP’s report found that annual transactions in London as a whole are 24.7 per cent lower than in June 2016, settling at 87,368 transactions in total by March 2019.
New build property prices in the capital were reported by LCP as having as much as a 21.5 per cent price premium over existing housing stock. However, they also reported that new build transactions have been falling significantly more than existing stock, registering a fall of 18 per cent annually.
Brexit ripple effect
LCP reported seeing signs that Brexit uncertainty had caused transactions to show declines in England and Wales, excluding Greater London. England and Wales (excluding the capital) registered a 14 per cent decline in transactions when excluding the capital.
Naomi Heaton, CEO of LCP, commented: “The Brexit wobbles that have been evident in the capital for some time now are impacting on England and Wales. Buyers’ faith in the market has waned and sellers are beginning to question whether now is the best time to make a move. Average prices have fallen every month since last September.”
Ms Heaton concluded: “In previous market cycles, London has often been an early indicator of what was to come for the rest of the UK. This may well presage more bad news to come for the domestic market.”