Prime property values in London ‘hold steady for first time since 2015’

House prices at the top end of London’s property market have held steady rather than fallen over the past few months for the first time in nearly three years, according to an index.

Prime property values in the capital showed 0% change in the second quarter of this year, according to estate agent Savills, which said it has seen the “surprise return” of a few sealed bids.

It marks the first time that prices have held steady rather than dipping since the third quarter of 2015, when there was a small uplift of 0.7%.

The prime property market includes the top 5% of homes by price and quality, and the figures cover re-sales of existing homes rather than new-builds coming on to the market for the first time.

Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, said: “Across the prime London markets as a whole, we’ve seen the surprise return of competitive bidding and even a few sealed bids.

“This results from relatively low stock levels and buyer commitment to securing the very best properties in a fragile marketplace.”

Savills said signs of some more competitive bidding are not leading to price inflation overall, as activity is still set against a backdrop of political uncertainty.

Despite prices standing more firmly in recent months, property values in London’s prime market are still 1.8% lower than a year ago, and have fallen by 12.1% compared with a peak in 2014.

Savills said the gap between prime property markets in London and elsewhere in Britain has been narrowing.

In the prime markets beyond London, house prices edged up for the second quarter in a row – typically increasing by 0.3% and leaving prices just 0.4% lower than a year ago.

The prime property market in Scotland saw some particularly strong growth in the second quarter, with values increasing by 0.6%, Savills said.

Mr Cook said: “There are a number of indicators for sellers to be more optimistic.

“But we face heightened uncertainty over what a new prime minister will mean for Brexit, the economy and, critically, tax policy, which suggests the prime markets will remain price-sensitive across the remainder of 2019.”

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