Prices of central London homes valued at more than 10 million pounds ($15.2 million) surged 15.3 percent from June through November, almost wiping out losses triggered by the government increasing the stamp duty sales tax a year ago.
Mansion buyers focused on newly completed or refurbished properties, according to broker Huntly Hooper Ltd., with just nine homes in the top price bracket being offered for sale in the past month, Zoopla data shows. Central London homes valued at 1 million pounds or more fell 0.3 percent in the same period.
Homes “that are currently being purchased in the super prime sector tend to be properties that are fully refurbished,” said Oliver Hooper, a director at Huntly Hooper. “We find that buyers in the rest of the market are looking for properties where value can be added.”
The higher stamp duty rates, which climb to as much as 12 percent of the cost of the most expensive homes, and political uncertainty caused by May’s national election damped demand for London mansions at the start of the year. Transactions remain below 2014 levels, with 56 properties selling for more than 10 million pounds through November, compared with 92 in the same period last year, Hooper said.
Homes in central London that sold for more than 1 million pounds averaged 1,710 pounds a square foot (18,400 pounds a square meter) in the six months through November, the data shows. For the most expensive homes, the average sale price is now 3,226 pounds a square foot.
London house prices rose 7.7 percent in the year through October, the Office for National Statistics said in a separate report on Tuesday.