Country houses for sale

Prime Central London weakens

Growth in the Prime Central London market remained largely unchanged in April, with a barely discernable growth rate of 0.1% says the latest Knight Frank London index. This is the lowest rate of growth since February 2005, as the overarching trend seems to be a continuing slowdown.

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Last month only properties prices between £2.5m and 5m, and those over 10m grew in value (0.3% and more than 1% respectively) and overall prices have risen by 17.3% annually – less than half the rate seen at the height of the market in August last year.

Vendors are becoming more attuned to difficult market sentiment, adds the report, although there is still some over ambitious pricing in the market. A year ago average achieved prices hit 102% of asking price, since then the relationship has reversed, with achieved prices only averaging 96% of asking prices – the lowest ratio seen since mid 2004.

The time taken to sell a property has also extended, from an average of 47 days a year ago to 76 days now. Liam Bailey, head of residential research at the agent said he does anticipate confidence returning to the market, although not immediately: ‘Although there is little expectation of a further cut in the base rate this week, the truth is that even if there were the effect would be limited. The real impact will only come once the Bank of England’s ‘Special liquidity Scheme’ has worked its way through the money markets and lenders feel confident lending to each other again,’ he said.

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