London Luxury Housing Made a Surprising Resurgence in February

Homebuyers across London’s most upmarket locales were active in February, driving up the number of deals beyond last year’s already elevated numbers, according to a report released Thursday in the U.K. from LonRes.

Despite the complications of the U.K.’s ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, both the number of offers accepted on homes for sale and the number of finalized transactions in the city rose 9% from February last year, a period pre-coronavirus during which the country was enjoying a post-election uplift.

When compared to a typical February, this year’s metrics are even higher, the property data firm said in its analysis of London’s prime market, which includes upscale neighborhoods such as Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Notting Hill.

The first two months of 2020 “were far from normal,” Marcus Dixon, head of research at LonRes, said in the report. “A post-election bounce caused a surge in activity across the prime London housing market.

“Last year’s stellar performance (sales in February 2020 were up 36% on 2019) makes the further increases in activity we have seen this year even more impressive,” he added.

The number of properties that went under offer in the most affluent parts of the capital was 19% higher than the five-year average for February, which assessed the month’s data from 2015 to 2019, and transactions were up 13% on the five-year average.

Activity was most prevalent in the top end of the market, where deals over £5 million (US$6.9 million) outpaced those in other price brackets from December to the end of February.

While big-ticket deals jumped 19% in the three-month period compared to the same time a year earlier, homes priced below that failed to see their transaction gains surpass 8%, according to the report.

Unlike the rest of the U.K.—which is collectively witnessing the most substantial discrepancy between supply and demand seen in a decade—stock levels of prime London homes in February were 36% higher than the same time last year.

The metric reflects the sizable cohort of homeowners who have been eschewing city living in exchange for greener pastures.

Buyers are increasingly seeking larger properties and easy access to the outdoors after reassessing their housing needs after weeks stuck at home.

“We expect good things from London’s prime market this year,” Mr. Dixon said. “And buyers appear to feel the same.”

Article Source: Mansion Global