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Ludgrove: Prime London represents an opportunity long-term

Despite being affected by COVID-19 in the short-term Prime London property will be a strong investment in the long run, said Fraser Slater, chief executive of buying agency Ludgrove Property.

Prime London benefits from safe-haven buying in times of crisis.

The cost of mortgages is also at an all-time low, while the pound is currently weak against the US dollar, which means London property is more attractive to buy for those overseas.

Fraser said: “Some of the best opportunities will be for bulk buyers seeking new build residential blocks from distressed developers. Indeed, our professional investor clients are still active, using this as an excellent chance to gain sizeable exposure as we have access to many off-market properties.

“With physical viewings currently impossible, the Prime Central London market is frozen and minimal transactions will provide scant evidence of where the market is actually trading.

“Low volume markets are notoriously skittish and unreliable, so an accurate reading on prices may not be possible until well into the second half 2020. We regard any weakness as a buying opportunity.

“Prime Central London is not immune from the current crisis and some weakness is to be expected in the short term.

“However… we would regard any sell-off in the coming months as an excellent long-term buying opportunity.

“The deep and protracted prime Central London bear market that has preceded the coronavirus-crisis is not the typical backdrop for a sustained fall in price.”

He was more cautious about the mainstream property market in London however, which is more reliant on first-time buyers utilising schemes like Help to Buy and taking out high LTV mortgages, the latter of which are being withdrawn.