SNAPSHOT: Have London’s prime sales and lettings markets recovered?

Sales transactions remain subdued when measured only by exchanges but under offer numbers are improving - but lettings are still not back to pre-pandemic levels, says LonRes.

A row of terraced houses in Knightsbridge, London lettings

The prime London sales market showed signs of improvement during April, with average achieved prices up on March, latest data from LonRes reveals, while lettings remain subdued.

Transactions remain subdued when measured only by exchanges but ‘under offer’ numbers are improving and other indicators suggest that demand is relatively stable.


On the supply side, new instructions continued to rise and available stock is growing steadily. Average values, based on achieved £ per sq ft figures, fell by 2.5% in April on an annual basis, leaving prices approximately in line (+0.1%) with pre-pandemic levels.  And average monthly prices have now risen twice in a row.

Under offer numbers grew by 19.9% compared to last April after two months of falls, 28.5% above the 2017-2019 April average.

The number of new instructions in April was 26.7% up on a year earlier and 23.0% above the 2017-2019 April average causing the stock of homes available to buy to increase.

At the end of April there were 10.5% more properties for sale than a year earlier, and 35.4% more than at the end of February 2020 – the last month before the pandemic impacted the market.


Meanwhile the lettings market saw activity increase compared to last April, with rental growth stable.

The number of newly agreed lets stood at 12.4% compared to April last year, but this remains 42.1% below the pre-pandemic (2017-2019) April average. New instructions were 26.8% higher than a year ago and there were 30.9% more properties on the market to let at the end of April than a year earlier.

Nick Gregori, LonRes
Nick Gregori, Head of Research, LonRes

Nick Gregori, Head of Research at LonRes, says: “The prime London sales market is showing some resilience in the face of negative external factors– such as high interest rates and global geopolitical issues – but activity for the time of year remains relatively subdued.

He adds: “Agents continue to report good levels of interest in the form of enquiries and viewings, and some of this is translating into agreed lettings deals.

“But there is a lack of urgency from some of these prospective buyers, who are willing to wait and see whether values or borrowing costs fall and give them more purchasing power later in the year.”

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