No summer holiday romance for London property by Guy Meacock - 10/07/2012
There is a growing sense of frustration in the central London property market with vendors who are unwilling to alter their expectations in the face of a slackening market. As stock levels increase, and buyer numbers decline, it is notable how many properties are remaining unsold due to inflated asking prices – partly a result of the fight to win market share by estate agents, but moreover the simple fact that most vendors in prime central London are not forced sellers and can afford to hold out for their price, however unrealistic.
A perfect storm of the Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and April’s Budget, have brought on the annual summer lull much earlier than usual, amid concerns that a general feeling of inertia will pervade for the rest of the year. The Budget in particular has had a much larger impact than most agents admit, having relied heavily in recent years on foreign investors to fuel the market, who are now feeling the pinch of a range of proposed tax measures. The prolonged process of indecision in how far-reaching these proposals should be is further stagnating the marketplace.
As we move into the school holidays sellers in London need to think carefully about asking prices, particularly where a quick sale is required. Any property failing to sell quickly could well end up in competition with any new stock brought onto the market during the Autumn, by which time it will look stale and potentially even more expensive if values soften over the Summer.