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Prime central London residential prices up 36% since Oct 2009

Prices are expected to continue to grow in 2012 by approximately 4%, according to Hamptons International's latest Prime Central London index.
The figures are in stark contrast to the largely flat national house price growth, which is expected to finish down 2%.

Against a backdrop of strong international demand for prime London property in the first half of 2011, Hamptons International's buyer profile index tracking the nationality of prime central London purchasers, shows that international buyers accounted for 56% of all purchases in the third quarter of 2011, down from the 73% in the previous quarters.

Europeans bought 20%, followed by Middle Eastern buyers with 15%, Far Eastern buyers at 10% and Russians and Chinese both at 5% respectively.

The data also shows that in the third quarter more there were more British buyers in the prime sector, up 10% compared with the second quarter of the year. The number of Chinese buyers fell by 8% in the same period, while Russian and Far East buyers fell 5% and 4% respectively. The number of European Union and Middle East buyers remained roughly the same.

‘While there are seasonality fluctuations with international demand for prime Central London property, accounting for the drop in Chinese buyers over the summer period, for example, the nationality mix compared with quarter tow this year reflects a modest receding of international demand overall,’ said Adam Challis, head of research at Hamptons International.

‘This is in part due to the unusually high levels of demand from internationals in the first half of 2011, where many buyers were using prime London property as a defensive investment in a period of extreme economic uncertainty,’ he explained.

Looking ahead taxation policies which target high net worth individuals in the UK are likely to take be a consideration in the prime central London sector. ‘The global nature of many Prime London purchasers means high earner taxation policies in the UK must be compared with those on a global scale,’ said Challis.