Sales halve in central London as EU referendum rattles buyers’ nerves

After a period of increased activity as buyers rushed to beat the April Stamp Duty deadline, the prime central London is experiencing a subdued market.

Sales have halved since March, while at least one agent, W.A. Ellis, is advising landlords to cut rents.

The slowdown is the direct result of uncertainty ahead of the EU referendum, according to estate agency W.A. Ellis.

Richard Barber, director at W.A. Ellis, said: “According to LonRes, only 110 houses have sold within SW1, SW3, SW7, SW10, W8, and W14, which is indicative not just of the hesitancy surrounding the EU referendum, but the huge increase in the cost of moving at the upper end of the market.

“Various apocalyptic visions of what may or may not happen if we leave the EU on June 23 have continued to confound the electorate over the last two months.

“As a result, it would appear that buying a new property has been put on hold by the majority of potential purchasers until the future of the UK is determined.”

Lucy Morton, head of agency, said: “There are reports of recruitment freezes across the city and firms delaying relocating staff to London to see what awaits the UK post-referendum.

“This has had an impact on prices and the unprecedented surplus of stock has put further downward pressure on the rental market.

“With this in mind, we have been advising landlords to reduce rents.”