Are prices bottoming out in prime central London?

Annual decline now stands at -6.7%, with Hyde Park (-14%), Chelsea (-13.3%) and Kensington (-11.9%) taking the biggest hits

Knight Frank has reported “signs of stability” in the prime central London market, with increased activity levels and a letup in the well-documented price plunge.

The firm put through more exchanges in the fourth quarter of 2016 than in 2015 or 2014, and 2017 has also started well; January’s exchange tally was up on the same month in the previous two years and “comfortably” ahead of the ten-year average.

That marks something of a turnaround, considering volumes between January and September 2016 were 20.6% down on the same period in 2015. The number of prospective buyers was up 14% year-on-year in Q4, while the number of offers rose 13%, but with all the political uncertainty around Trump and Brexit, whether this trend will continue is anyone’s guess.

Meanwhile, the team suggests that prices in PCL may well be “bottoming out”. After a torrid couple of years, the annual decline now stands at -6.7%, with the heartlands of Hyde Park (-14%), Chelsea (-13.3%) and Kensington (-11.9%) taking the biggest hits. Less-established prime areas further east, including City & Fringe and Islington, have gotten off lightly, posting -1.8% and -1.7% respectively. It’s still all minuses, but the freefall appears to have abated over the last few weeks at least and Knight Frank is forecasting a “relatively flat” market for the year ahead…