Sellers of prime property in London slashing prices to attract buyers

Asking prices of homes for sale in London’s most prestigious areas have been reduced by an average of £223,000, new research shows.

The average discount on properties currently for sale is 9%, but in some of the top locations prices have been slashed by 14% with sellers in Knightsbridge, for example, taking an average of £927,188 off asking prices.

The reductions are in response to a slow market with three quarters of homes for sale in St James’s and Victoria having been on the market for over six months as of January 2018, according to the analysis from buying agents Garrington Property Finders.

London’s prime property market is seeing a January sale, with data compiled by the buying agents Garrington Property Finders

The data compiled by the firm shows that overall sellers have slashed nearly £1 billion off the asking prices of homes currently for sale in London’s 52 most desirable postcode districts with the average property is currently listed at 9% below its original price.

The discounts are greatest in the most expensive areas. In St James’s and Victoria prices have been cut by an average of 14.1% or £765,919. Meanwhile in Knightsbridge asking prices have been slashed by 12.1%, equating to an average discount of £927,188.

By contrast at the more affordable end of the prime property market the discounts are smaller. The average reduction on homes currently for sale in both Wandsworth and Kennington is a more modest 6.5%, and in 2017 the average property sold in these areas went for 95% of its original asking price.

According to Jonathan Hopper, the firm’s managing director sellers are trying to stimulate buyer interest. In six of the seven areas with the greatest reductions, more than half of the properties currently for sale have been on the market for over half a year.

‘Acute price sensitivity among buyers continues to force sellers to reduce their expectations, and in the most expensive areas this is throwing up some striking discounts,’ said Hopper.

He explained that the slowing of the prime market predates Brexit and was triggered instead by increases to the highest rates of stamp duty announced in 2014. ‘With the buyers of high value homes facing the prospect of paying hundreds of thousands in tax, vendors are frequently sharing the pain by offering corresponding discounts,’ Hopper pointed out.

‘While the jury is still out on whether property prices in the rest of the country will follow prime London’s lead, such large discounts are creating opportunities for pragmatic and astute buyers and we’re seeing renewed interest in the capital from both British and overseas buyers keen to pounce before prices recover,’ he added.