A growing number of homeowners in prime London are looking to sell, with new listings up 68% year-over-year in October, new data shows.
The number of new properties for sale has surged in the wake of the pandemic, with the number of homes coming to market in August and September nearly double the same period last year, according to a report from data firm LonRes released on Wednesday, U.K. time. October continued that trend with two-thirds more homes for sale across the capital’s luxury neighborhoods.
The listings surge means supply was 40% higher in prime London at the beginning of this month than there was a year ago, according to LonRes, which defines prime London as 35 affluent postcodes in central, outer and fringe areas.
Time will tell whether there’ll be enough demand in London to match it.
The U.K. has seen a surge in home shopping since the first lockdown measures were lifted in late spring and early summer. But rising demand has been more muted in the nation’s capital, and England has again entered a new period of restrictions amid mounting coronavirus cases, which could affect buyers’ willingness to move.
New signed contracts across prime neighborhoods rose for the fourth consecutive month and were up 10% over a year ago. There were 4% more finalized transactions in October than a year ago, the first year-over-year increase since before the pandemic.
Rising activity has yet to yield consistent price growth, however. Despite price gains earlier in the year, prime London prices were down 3.3% in October compared to a year ago.
It’s hoped that the London market will be spared any major slowdown, “viewings, negotiations and progression of property transactions are one of the few things which can continue under current rules,” said Marcus Dixon, head of research at LonRes.
Though activity in prime London remains more subdued than the home-buying bonanza happening in more suburban and rural parts of the country, it’s begun to translate into more sales, Mr. Dixon said.
That’s particularly true of prime London houses, which have seen the bulk of activity, according to the report.
Roughly 25% more houses sold in October than a year earlier, while the sales of flats fell 2% in that time span. More than half of all pounds spent on prime London housing last month went into houses—up from 39% a year ago.
“Like those moving out of the capital, it’s space that buyers across prime London are looking for,” Mr. Dixon said. “More expensive homes, particularly family houses, are in demand and have seen the strongest growth—both in terms of achieved prices and volumes sold.”