London Calling

London Calling


Transactions are on the rise in prime central London as more buyers are spotting good value in the city’s real estate market, according to a recent report from Knight Frank.

In September, the number of sales—excluding new developments—across central London’s prime neighbourhoods increased to 24% compared to the same time last year, the estate agency and property consultant said.

There are a number of factors driving the uptick in demand, including lower prices, low mortgage rates and the weak pound.

“Prices have adjusted in prime central London in recent years in response to higher rates of stamp duty and political uncertainty,” Tom Bill, head of London residential research at Knight Frank, said in the report.

Prices fell 3.4% in October, compared to a year ago. But in some of the most coveted areas of Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Belgravia, the average price per square foot for existing homes is now more than £200 (US$257) below the five-year average, according to Knight Frank.

Lower lending rates are helping buoy demand, too. In September, the average interest on a five-year fixed rate mortgage was 1.8% compared to 3.61% in September 2014, according to figures from data provider Statista.

And for international buyers, particularly those buying in dollars, the weakness of sterling is providing even more of a discount on top of the already marked down London prices.

American buyers in the U.K. are paying roughly one-third less than they were five years ago, thanks to favorable shifts in the exchange rate, Mansion Global previously reported.

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