Almost £1bn has been wiped off the asking prices in some of London’s most sought-after postcodes.
Analysis of estate agents’ asking prices shows that these have been slashed by up to 14 per cent in prime locations, reducing the price tag of some of the capital’s most desirable homes by more than than £900,000.
The research – carried out by buying agents Garrington Property Finders – looked at asking prices in 52 of the capital prime postcodes. On average prices have been cut by 9 per cent, but in the most expensive ‘enclaves’ these discounts were often significantly more.
For example, prices in the St James’ and Victoria had been reduced by 14.1 per cent, saving buyers an average of £765,919 on average purchasing price.
In Knightsbridge, asking prices have been reduced by 12.1 per cent – equating to an average discount of £928,188.
Properties in Mayfair, the City, South Kensington, Soho, Covent Garden and Marylebone have all seen asking prices reduced by at least 10 per cent.
In contrast at the more affordable end of the prime spectrum the discounts are smaller. The average reduction on homes currently for sale in both Wandsworth and Kennington is a more modest 6.5 per cent. In 2017 the average property sold in these areas went for 95 per cent of its original asking price.
The average home sold in Mayfair, St James and Knightsbridge last year only achieved 88 per cent of its original asking price.
Garrington Property Finders managing director of buying agents, Jonathan Hopper says: “2017 was not a year for the faint-hearted in London’s prime property market. Prices fell in many of the most prestigious areas, even if the number of sales was no lower than that of 2016.
“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.
“The slowing of the capital’s prime market predates Brexit – it was triggered instead by 2015’s punitive increase to the highest rates of stamp duty. 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.”
He added that the “jury was still out” as to whether property prices elsewhere will follow trends in London, but said there was renewed interest from both UK and overseas buyers who were “keen to pound before prices recover”.