are rising but sales falling in prime West London property markets with
properties valued at over £2 million hit by an increase in stamp duty,
according to the latest market report.
Crayson's autumn market intelligence
report provides a detailed overview of the property market in W14, W11, W10,
and W2, and shows that the number of properties sold in the area to the end of
September 2012 was 21% lower than in the same period in 2011 and 23% below peak
Whilst transaction levels have been
lower in recent months, properties which have sold have been some of the best
in class. So far 2012 has seen the highest proportion of sales over £1,500 per
square foot. Almost half of all houses and 15% of flats sold have achieved in
excess of this mark.
Since changes to stamp duty announced
in March sales per month for properties priced between £1 million and £2
million increased from 13% of all sales to 23%. In contrast, sales over £2
million have fallen compared with pre-Budget levels.
‘The new stamp duty levy is also
tempering demand from domestic buyers for homes over £2 million. Before the
Budget, 60% of Crayson purchasers in this price bracket were domestic, the
majority looking for family homes in our area. However, since the Budget the
number of domestic buyers has fallen. Indeed, in a role reversal, 60% of
properties sold by Crayson since March have been bought by foreign buyers,’
said the firm’s Nick Crayson.
Both W8 and W11 saw at least half of
buyers between March and June pay cash for
their properties, up from 23% (W11) and 37% (W8) in the same period in 2007.
Unlike 2007, the market between £1
million and £2 million was the most mortgage reliant in the three months to
June, with almost 60% of buyers using a mortgage to fund part of the purchase.
The most significant change in the
proportion of cash buyers
was for properties sold for under £1 million. In this price band, 53% of buyers
paid cash, the highest proportion of any price segment.
‘Compared with the market five years
ago, cash purchases in our area of central London show some interesting
changes. All of our areas, excluding W2 which has a very low sample size, saw a
fall in the proportion of buyers purchasing with a mortgage,’ explained Crayson.
‘Experience tells us that this
can, at least in part, be attributed to increases in wealthy investor
purchasers. In particular, those from overseas who have been snapping up
investment flats in our area in the past 18 months,’ he added.