Bloomberg News

London Luxury-Home Prices Gain as Demand Outstrips Availability

May 02, 2012

Luxury-home prices in central London rose in April as demand, particularly from overseas buyers, exceeded the number of properties for sale, Knight Frank LLP said.

Values of houses and apartments costing about 3.7 million pounds ($6 million) increased by an average of 11.4 percent from a year earlier, the London-based broker said in a report today. Prices gained 1.1 percent last month.

Overseas investors have turned to London residential real estate to preserve wealth as they face political, economic and financial upheaval in their home markets. Sales of properties valued at more than 2 million pounds were subdued in April 2011, when a higher tax rate came into effect and caused a rush of buyers trying to avoid the levies during the preceding months.

“Activity was relatively weak last April,” said Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s head of residential research. The number of property sales agreed to in February through April was 50 percent higher than in the same three-month period a year ago, he said.

Knight Frank compiles its luxury-homes index from its own appraisal values of a sample of properties in the 13 most expensive central London neighborhoods, such as Belgravia, Kensington and Knightsbridge.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simon Packard in London at packard@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ross Larsen in London at rlarsen2@bloomberg.net


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