Prime London market continues to improve

"Since then we have seen much more activity and competition for the best properties, especially those in excess of the £10million mark. There has also been a need to impress on buyers the balance between improving prices and the distinct lack of stock available.

"If the volume of properties coming to the upper end of the market continues to remain restricted then getting that balance right and buying at sensible prices will remain a key issue. In a number of cases recently we have had to recommend making offers that have eventually not been accepted and the property has been acquired by other parties.

"While some high-value properties have sold above what we consider market value, we doubt that the prime London market will do more than remain fairly static for the rest of the year.

"We also expect falls will continue in the mainstream London housing market and that prices will edge lower throughout the UK."

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