London’s high-end luxury home market was quite buoyant in Q3 2021, with properties sold for £2m or more up 5% qoq and 21% higher than the average for 2015–2019. Indeed, the number of properties sold in the first nine months of 2021 was 11% higher than total sales for all of 2020 and just 3% lower than 2019.
The upper end of the London market has been particularly successful, with completed sales in the first nine months of 2021 already at full-year levels. But it looks like we could be having a busy end of the year too – activity could pick up again as we move into fall and winter. The number of properties listed for sale was higher than the five-year average (from 2015 to 2019) every month except July of this year. At the same time, the number of objects put up for sale increased by 12% in August and by 11% in September.
When it comes to letting out, those looking to renew their lease or looking for a new property to rent out may be shocked. Tenants are now entering a completely different market than those that were looking for six months ago. In prestigious London, the level of offers fell by 68% compared to the same figure a year ago. This, in turn, has pushed rents up to pre-pandemic levels as tenants scramble for housing. Since spring, we have seen a change in the situation – the luxury rental market in London is now in a completely different position compared to where it was just a few months ago. – the number of properties available for rent in prestigious London in September decreased by 68% compared to last September and up 38% in 2019, while rents were 11.7% higher than a year ago. Achieved rents are now back to their pre-pandemic peak, with values in upscale London 0.4% higher in September 2021 than in February 2020. This represents a significant turnaround in the luxury rental market, which just over six months ago reported a 19% annual drop in achieved rentals. While stock levels are declining across upscale London, some areas have been hit particularly hard. In Battersea, Clapham and Wandsworth, the number of properties available for rent was down by almost two thirds (67%) compared to September 2019. North of the river in Pimlico, Westminster and Victoria, annual stock levels are down 65% from September 2019. and 71% compared to 2020.