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Sellers in central London ‘cashing in’

High property prices and an ultra-low interest rate environment are tempting many property owners in prime central London to sell up and cash in.

Two-fifths (43%) of motivated sellers in prime central London put their homes on the market in the first quarter of this year to cash in on capital returns and release investments, according to new research by Marsh & Parsons.

David Brown, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, commented: "The London property market has long been the home of outstanding capital returns – especially in infamous Prime Central postcodes. The vast majority of Londoners are understandably attempting to capitalise on the rapid rise in house prices over the past few years, alongside the steady stream of eager buyers, by selling their home in order to liquidate their investment."

Releasing investments constituted the main reason to sell overall, motivating almost half (49%) of all sellers – a higher proportion than elsewhere in the capital while downsizing was also more common in prime central London than the wider capital average too, with 9% of homeowners intending to move to a smaller property.

Those looking to upsize are generally now targeting outer prime London areas, such as Balham, Battersea, Queen’s Park, East Sheen and Clapham, with the study revealing that 34% of sellers put their home up for sale in order to move to a bigger property.

“But in prime central areas, there is much greater appetite to downsize and relocate elsewhere – to circumvent the more stringent Stamp Duty levy, which they will have to pay as a buyer on their next purchase,” added Brown.

The key findings also show that almost a third (29%) claim they put their property up for sale in order to upsize to a bigger home. A further one in five (19%) sellers intend to relocate after finding a buyer. Just 5% of Prime London sellers put their property on the market in order to downsize to somewhere smaller, while 3% of Prime London homes were sold due to divorce in Q1.

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