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Residential property prices in the most desirable areas of central London fell by the most since June 2009 in the six months through February. Among the reasons of the price crumble are listed turmoil in financial markets, higher new stamp-duty taxes and new investor visa regulations.
The average decline in the Britain’s capital’s prime areas was modest 0.6 percent, according to realty broker Knight Frank LLP. However, values in the most expensive areas dropped more dramatically. Property in Knightsbridge, home to the famous Harrods department store, faced 7 percent value decline in the 12 months through February, while in South Kensington there was a 3.3 percent fall and a 2 percent value drop in Chelsea.
Sellers of luxury homes in the capital lowered asking prices on 39 percent of homes in central London since they were first offered for sale, according to data compiled by researcher Lonres in January.
The number of super prime £10 million plus property sales in London fell by a third in 2015 as the impact of a stamp duty increase at the end of 2014 made buyers more price sensitive. The stamp duty increase meant the transaction tax on a £10 million property rose to £1.1 million from £700,000, or an additional 4% of the sale price.
“A combination of higher levels of stamp duty and volatility in the financial markets means demand for prime central London property has been subdued in the first two months of 2016,” said the report by Knight Frank.
There are plans to construct more than 25,000 luxury properties in London City area over the next decade, according to data compiled by consulting firm Arcadis.
Another reason for the drop in London luxury real estate value is the decline a slowdown in the number of foreign buyers. The number of wealthy individuals granted resident permits in the U.K. fell staggering 84 percent last year after the government doubled the minimum investment required for the residence permit to 2 million pounds ($2.8 million) in November 2014. Only 51 rich person was granted visas in 2015 compared to nearly 460 people in 2014.