Prime London transactions slumped by 26.7% in May compared to a year earlier, data from LonRes shows, “as conditions return to pre-pandemic levels”.
The data platform adds this figure “is only” 6% down on the 2017-to-2019 average before the health crisis.
It says that looking ahead, new instructions and properties under offer were down on an annual basis in May by 7.9% and 20.4%, respectively. This is 0.7% below the two-year average before the pandemic.
“This indicates that future activity is likely to remain subdued,” the firm says.
It points out: “The quiet start to the sales market which marked the beginning of the year has continued into May with average achieved sale prices across Prime London 0.6% lower over the month compared to the same time last year.”
At the top end of the market, on home sales over £5m, agreed sales slid by 31% in May compared to a year ago, although this figure is 13% above the pre-pandemic average.
In the prime London lettings market, new rentals in May were down 25.4% on an annual basis, while new instructions were 6.3% lower.
However, the firm says “rental demand remains high” with annual lettings growth at 8.5% in May is “a slight increase on last month”.
LonRes head of research Nick Gregori points out: “We’re hearing from agents across Prime London that some markets are a little slow and that it can be tricky to get deals over the line.
“Where vendors and buyers are motivated and pragmatic, agreement can be found and sales are still happening, just at a slower pace than the past couple of years.
Gregori adds: The Prime London lettings market is broadly unchanged from the start of the year.
“Strong demand set against shrinking supply has resulted in continued rental growth, although at a slower pace than last year.”