October 8, 2010 12:13 pm

Prime London house prices fall 0.2%

Prices of prime central London property fell for the third month in a row during September as signs continue to point toward a slowdown in the top-end property market.

According to the Knight Frank Prime Central London Index, the average price of an upmarket London property fell by 0.2 per cent over the month. Prices have now fallen by 0.7 per cent since June.

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Figures earlier this week from Primelocation.com found that the value of the UK’s most expensive homes - the top 25 per cent of all homes by value - has fallen by 1.5 per cent over the last 12 months.

The biggest monthly fall in value was in London where prime homes were down 2.4 per cent in September.

Growth in prime property prices has slowed due to an increase in properties coming onto the market and declining demand from top-end buyers.

Property agents said there had been a small reduction in the number of international buyers - which had previously driven the strong demand - following the recent rise in the value of sterling.

“There is no doubt that the market slowed over the summer period, and as we move through the autumn market there is a more cautious approach from potential buyers,” said Liam Bailey of Knight Frank.

The property agent’s latest data showed that the number of new buyers coming into the market fell by 13 per cent on a year-on-year basis in September while the number of properties for sale rose by the same amount.

Bailey said the main problem facing vendors in the capital continues to be over-ambitious pricing, with most agents saying that asking prices are currently 5 per cent to 10 per cent higher than realistic levels.

“Until vendors move to address this issue the market will be slow in terms of the numbers of sales achieved,” he said.

However, in spite of last month’s fall, prime London prices are still 23 per cent higher than they were at the bottom of the market last March.

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