Prime London market sees demand climb during Q4 as Covid-19 continues to influence buyer location

Houses for sale

The latest research by lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, has revealed which tiers of the high-end London property market are most in demand amongst high-end homebuyers and where they’re looking to buy across the capital.

Benham and Reeves analysed market demand based on the number of homes sold as a percentage of all homes for sale across London’s prime neighbourhoods and across various price thresholds.

The research shows that demand across London’s GBP10 million-plus market stalled in the final quarter of 2020, with demand falling -0.3 per cent to 6 per cent overall.
However, this hasn’t been the case across the rest of the prime London market and despite the ongoing uncertainty caused by Covid, homebuyer demand has started to climb.
Demand for all homes above GBP2 million climbed by a total of 2 per cent in the final quarter of last year, while demand for homes in the GBP2 million to GBP5 million price threshold was up 3.7 per cent between Q3 and Q4 of last year.
However, it’s the GBP5 million to GBP10 million segment of the market that has seen the largest buyer interest increase. In Q4, demand for homes at this price threshold climbed by 4.8 per cent compared to the previous quarter.
Despite growing market activity levels, it’s clear that Covid is still a concern amongst buyers, with outer areas with more green space continuing to register the highest interest.
Barnes (47 per cent), Chiswick (43 per cent), Clapham (43 per cent), Richmond (36 per cent), Wandsworth (34 per cent), Wimbledon (32 per cent), Putney (29 per cent), Islington (29 per cent) and Highgate (27 per cent) all rank as the most in-demand areas for current London buyer demand above GBP2 million.
Holland Park is the only prime central area to make the top 10 with demand currently at 18 per cent. With Covid continuing change the way we work and our ability to commute, it comes as no surprise that Canary Wharf is the least in-demand location at just 2.4 per cent.
Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, says: “A combination of the stamp duty holiday and an incoming increase to stamp duty for foreign buyers caused buyer demand across London’s high-end market to largely stabilise during the final quarter of 2020.
"All but the very top tiers of the market enjoyed a boost in market activity despite the broader turbulence that remained due to the current pandemic.
"That said, Covid continues to prove a significant influence where buyer preference is concerned, with many continuing to favour outer locations that provide the opportunity for a bigger home and more green space.
"While this is likely to continue this year, the growing availability of a vaccine should spur a return to normality of sorts. As it does, we expect to see demand across London’s more central prime neighbourhoods start to return as the capital begins to reopen both professionally and from a social standpoint.”