London Prime Home Values Fall as Sales Slump and Discounts Rise

(Bloomberg) -- Values in London’s high-end property market are falling again, wiping out gains made at the end of last year.

Prices in the best districts fell 3 percent in the first quarter, with the number of properties sold down 24 percent from a year earlier, wealth manager Coutts & Co. said in a report. Values in the combined Marylebone, Fitzrovia and Soho districts are down almost 14 percent year on year.

Brexit uncertainty, along with higher inflation and fears that prices will fall, have undermined confidence in the market. Price falls in central districts are rippling out to neighborhoods including Hampstead and Highgate, with values dropping 7.7 percent from a year earlier.

More than half of homes in so-called prime London sold for less than the asking price and rate of discounts is accelerating, the report shows. The average discount was 12.1 percent in the first quarter compared with 11 percent in the last three months of 2017 and 9.1 percent in the second quarter of last year.

Coutts, a unit of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, compiles the report using data from researcher LonRes.

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