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Top end buyers stand firm on prices

Most of the regions also recorded slight Prime price falls on a monthly basis, although many continue to witness annual growth. Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West were the only regions to see prices up on July levels in both the Prime and Prime Platinum tiers.

Overall there has been a 6.7% rise in Prime property coming on to the market, the seventh consecutive monthly increase. At the same time, demand has reduced slightly, driven by the usual summer lull and talk of a double dip recession. Also, buyers are not prepared to pay an inflated price for their new property.

Primelocation.com spokesman Andrew Smith said:

“Top end vendors have continued to put their properties onto the market and now that buyers have a healthy range of quality property to choose from, upward pressure on prices has eased in all but the most sought-after areas. This trend has been exaggerated as buyers put their search on hold over the summer and act with increased caution due to renewed fears of a downturn in the economy.

“Serious buyers do not have to compete to secure their ideal home currently and while they are prepared to pay a fair price, they are not willing to pay over the odds in case the market enters another serious downturn. As a consequence, vendors who have pressing reasons to move on with their sale have to consider their asking price carefully and be realistic”.

While London experienced monthly price falls in August, Prime Central London outperformed the capital as a whole, helping to temper price falls in some of the suburbs. Prime prices increased by 0.5% to £2,323,504 with annual growth of 7.8% and Prime Platinum prices rose by 1.4% to £3,465,022, with annual growth of 11.8%.

In contrast, South West (3.1%) and West London (4.3%) saw some of the highest monthly Prime price falls.

Smith continued: “Large family properties in the suburbs, including Haringey, Ealing and Wandsworth, have been less in demand from buyers over the summer, which has instead seen purchases focus on town houses in zone one, as international buyers and UK businessmen look for prestigious properties without the commute.

“Prime property in the capital has seen prices and activity fall slightly over the last couple of months and won’t be totally unaffected by a second downturn. However, there will always be a high level of interest in Prime property from the wealthiest UK and international buyers looking to live and work in one of the world’s top business, cultural and entertainment hubs. This interest could help buoy prices in a way that cannot be guaranteed within the regional markets.”

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