Prime Central London – which sector of the market will you find bargains?

There are bargains to be had in Prime Central London if you look beyond stamp duty, an independent property consultant with more than 25 years’ experience said in October.

Following the 2012 budget, stamp duty for properties sold over £2million rose to seven per cent. Since this announcement, sales of homes in the £2-£2.5million price bracket have fallen by over 30 per cent, but in contrast, homes valued under £1.5million fell by just 3.4 per cent, according to agencies’ analysis. Additionally, more than half of all properties in London’s Prime Central areas have been withdrawn unsold in the six months to the end of June, according to further research.

A leading property consultant commented “The £2-£2.5m sector of the market provides a real buying opportunity because people are reluctant to pay more stamp duty. There is a real psychological barrier to passing this mark, despite ability to access the £2-2.5m market – where we are seeing some significant reductions in price.

“Recently, a client of mine provided me with the brief – a three bed investment property in the Knightsbridge area for less than £2m. Knowing the clients taste I knew it was going to be tough, finding a two bed with his requirements would be achievable but a three bed would be a stretch.

“After showing him properties on the market in line with his brief, we had a frank discussion about surpassing the £2million mark. Soon after, I took him to see a £2.5million property, which was being sold off market which he wanted to put an offer in for. Following tough negotiations, the property was brought for £2.1million. This deal was possible as this area of the market, £2m plus, has slowed right down and in order for vendors to sell they have to be realistic about market value. Buying agents, like myself, are far better placed than estate agents to secure these deals as we prefer to work off market as we aren’t representing the vendors.

“With Labour plans for a Mansion Tax now in the open, it’s likely that properties above £2m are likely to see further reductions, so I expect to be able to identify real value for clients looking in this range.”

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