Foreign buyers, including Russians, are now keen to exploit opportunities caused by the weakness of the pound against the euro and dollar and there is growing sense that buyers want to "get in now" rather than wait until an upturn takes place.
Guy Meacock of Prime Purchase in London said: "Prices in London have been hit hard since a highpoint in autumn 2007. Where properties have had to be sold, sellers have had to be realistic and accept prices often 25 to 30% below those achieved in 2007. In some cases we have been able to achieve even further price reductions on behalf of our clients and really provide value through what we do."
Jonathan Bramwell Head of Country for Prime Purchase said: "The problem for country-buying agents has been a lack of good property on the market and prices have not been quite so hard hit as in London. However, we have been aware of a hidden mass of property which selling agents have termed ‘privately available’.
"Some of this stock was of secondary quality and overvalued. However, we are already hearing about and seeing new properties coming on the market publicly and competition is developing if realistically priced. These sales will help determine values and hopefully trigger a modest revival as sellers will see there is a market."
This was reflected in last week’s figures released by the Nationwide that showed an increase in some residential markets, and also by the Bank of England, showing an increase in mortgage lending.
Prime Purchase said it was now advising clients to buy property in good locations, provided a realistic value was accepted by vendors and their selling agents.
It expects the mid-market in London and the Home Counties to show more activity over the next three months with sellers accepting lower prices.
This will help loosen up the market and lead the way out of the current downturn and stagnation.
While there still remains some concern about a lack of stock going forward, Prime Purchase has recently noticed a marked increase in deals achieved between £1million and £3million which is the core investor market where people are at last sensing some value.
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