Knight Frank’s latest PCL (Prime Central London) index reveals that average prices declined by 2.1% in April (the equivalent of 25% annually), the largest such drop since January 2009, when the market was feeling the impacts of the global financial crisis.
Despite this, early indicators suggest the downward pressure on prices has softened since the market reopened on 13 May. The average discount to asking prices for sales in London during the market lockdown was 6.4%, but since the market re-opened this figure has fallen to 5.5%.
The average offer made in the capital, meanwhile, was on average 10.2% below the asking price while lockdown measures for the property market were in place, but that has narrowed to 7.6% since 13 May.
Demand is also recovering fast, with the number of new applicants in London 35% above the five-year average in the week ending 30 May. This is further helping to reduce the downward pressure on prices.
“It feels remarkably similar to the period that followed the EU referendum,” Tom Bill, head of London residential research at Knight Frank, said. “There is a mix of opportunistic bids that are unlikely to be accepted, bids agreed at a reasonable discount and many cases where the asking price is right and the guide price is met or exceeded after competitive bidding. It will take a while for the market to find its feet.”