London buy-to-let investor numbers plummet – LCP

  • 19/09/2017
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London buy-to-let investor numbers plummet – LCP
The number of London buy-to-let investors has fallen by a third in the last year, according to a property asset manager.

Within London Central Portfolio’s (LCP) managed client portfolio, the number of buy-to-let investors has seen a significant decrease over the last 12 months, with its share of purchases falling from 85% to 55%.

Purchase activity has been much slower in the ‘£1m and under’ sector, which is largely dominated by these buyers. The sector saw a 9.4% decrease in sales in Q2 and the average purchase price for rental investors has fallen 27% to £816,429 over the last year.

LCP said homebuyers, increasingly attracted by discounted luxury property, now represent 45% of all purchases in Prime Central London (PCL), and have tripled their share over the preceding year.

This is reflected in swelling numbers of luxury sales, with a 23% increase in activity in Q2 in the £5m – £10m bracket. Houses in trophy addresses have become much more popular, with a 4.1% increase in sales and a 4.9% increase in average prices in Q2.

According to Land Registry data, average prices in PCL reached £1.9m following quarterly growth of 5.8%, boosted by a handful of high value sales. Transactions have remained at very low levels with just 3,750 sales over the last 12 months.

The number of flat sales has fallen 11% and prices have increased by just 2.6%.

LCP said the “desertion” of PCL’s new build sector continues, reflected in a 55% decrease in sales in Q2, compared with 9% for the PCL market overall.

Buyers from the Far East Asia are the biggest buyers, making up 36% of purchases over the last 12 months, followed by Indian and Middle Eastern buyers at 22% and 21% respectively.

Naomi Heaton, CEO of London Central Portfolio, said: “As international homebuyers identify attractive discounts on top-end properties, particularly as Sterling remains weak, they have actively re-entered the market, snapping up deals in London’s best addresses.

In stark contrast, buy to let investors have remained on the side-lines trying to call the bottom of the market, resulting in a much-reduced share of purchases”.

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