Prime London property sees strong demand

"In addition, the family homes market is the strongest it has been for a number of years with an increasing number of UK-based clients wanting to purchase family homes in the £5million to £15million price range. In particular, the core areas of Kensington and Chelsea are especially busy.

"We’re also seeing a strong demand from investment purchasers in the £1million to £3million price range, including people buying for children, as well as City buyers who want to purchase before bonus monies are paid out when they face more competition in the market place.

"An increasing amount of property is being marketed privately, in particular, the £15million and above market; around 50% of property between £15million and £30million is off-market, and around 90% of property £30million and above is being offered privately. Buyers looking in this price range are finding it difficult to access without representation, so we are seeing a growing number of new client enquiries who want to get into this market.

"We anticipate an active early spring market – the signs are that confidence is returning to the City and money is being made, and there may be a rush to purchase before the stamp duty increase (to 5%) on properties above £1million which comes into force in April 2011. It is also likely that interest rates will rise, so buyers will want to lock into a competitive mortgage sooner rather than later. This could push prices up if supply and demand are imbalanced."

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