Top end London properties beginning to sell again, Savills says

Higher value properties in London have begun to sell again after the Brexit referendum almost brought the market to a halt, Savills has said.

The estate agency reported that sales of homes worth more than £20m had jumped 44pc this year as sellers began to lower their expectations on price.

Its residential transactions fell 7pc in London during the last six months, and 10pc elsewhere in the UK, although the average value of London property sold by the firm rose 16pc to £3.2m. Transaction values were 3pc higher year on year outside the capital.

Jeremy Helsby, chief executive, said the company had benefited in the residential market from buyers seeking established agents to sell their homes, and what he described as “more realism” among vendors.

“It’s still difficult, but at the top end of the market we are definitely seeing a little bit more action,” he said.

A quieter start to the year in the UK’s commercial property market and spending on acquisitions pushed profits at the company down 18pc overall in the first half.

Fee income from the company’s UK division dropped 14pc to £33.9m in the six months to the end of June, reflecting “greater uncertainty” and a “relative lack of stock” coming to the market, it said.

Savills also blamed acquisition costs for a new Middle Eastern division for the dip in profits, although it benefited from strong growth in its Continental Europe arm.

Its revenues rose 2pc to £727.8m, from £714.4m a year ago.

Despite uncertainty in the UK market, a weaker pound and higher yields have maintained overseas investor interest in British real estate.

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