£4.3b Worth of Property Priced more than £5m Bought in Prime Central London in 2023

Cash remains the preferred currency at the pinnacle of London's property market, where prime residential activity continues to thrive, driven by affluent cash buyers, according to Savills.

The prestigious estate agency reports that in the first nine months of the year up to September, there were 390 transactions involving properties valued at £5 million or more in the UK's capital. While this represented a decrease compared to the 459 sales recorded in the same period in the exceptional year of 2022, it remained notably higher—by 67%—than the average for the three years leading up to 2019, before the pandemic.

Among these transactions, 120 properties were valued at £10 million or above, marking a 50% increase compared to the pre-pandemic average.

Notably, the areas of Chelsea, Kensington, and Belgravia contributed to a third of all sales involving properties worth £5 million or more.

In the first nine months of the year, the overall value of these transactions amounted to £4.3 billion, with the third quarter accounting for £1.7 billion as sales activity showed some improvement compared to the rest of the year.

Frances McDonald, Head of Residential Research at Savills, highlighted that this growth, especially at this price point, is largely driven by cash buyers who have returned to their traditional preference for cash transactions after briefly exploring very low-rate mortgages available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The apartment market is dominated by global cash, with buyers often making their first London purchase, whereas houses are the preserve of UK buyers or those from around the world who are fully settled in London, invariably buying for the second or third time as family needs evolve," commented Alex Christian, Joint Head of Savills Private Office.

The strength of the US dollar has also contributed to underpinning the top end of the London property market, with North American buyers looking to capitalize on the favorable exchange rate.

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