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The return of overseas buyers means expensive central London houses should lead the British property market next year when it comes to price growth, according to estate agent Winkworth.

Prime London real estate suffered during the pandemic as overseas buyers fled and some Londoners moved out of the capital. But international buyers are now returning, with booming demand in areas like Kensington and Chelsea.

Winkworth Chief Executive Dominic Agace said demand for prime central London properties was up 44% on pre-pandemic levels in the last quarter, compared to just 4% for suburban properties.

Agace said on the company’s podcast: “We will see the return of prime central London. It has been most affected by the pandemic and it hasn’t gone anywhere for the past six years. There will be significant pick up.

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“We are likely to see six to seven per cent growth next year. The country markets will continue at a lower rate, driven by a lack of supply, at around four to five per cent, with suburban London staying steady at three to four per cent, apart from the super suburbs that generally outperform.”

House prices have been rocketing during the pandemic as people search for bigger properties to accommodate the shift to working from home. Supply has failed to keep up with demand.

Prime properties in central London boroughs like Camden and Kensington have failed to keep pace with national price growth but the market is starting to pick up.

Last month estate agent Knight Frank said prime central London prices had risen by 1.1% so far this year thanks to the return of rich international buyers. Prices have risen consecutively for the last six month — the first time that has happened since before the Brexit referendum.

By Oscar Williams-Grut

Source: Evening Standard

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