Non-UK buyers drive up prime London house prices

Prime central London homes have gained about 1,200 pounds a day in value over the past year, taking their average price to 3.2 million pounds ($5 million) at end-November and underscoring their role as a safe haven for rich non-UK buyers.

Property agent Knight Frank said prime London residential property prices rose 1 percent in November, contributing to an annual growth rate of 12.6 percent. Prices have risen 39.5 percent since their post-recession low in March 2009.

Pine Acre, Wentworth  Enjoying all the peace and tranquillity the Wentworth Estate has to offer, this house is situated between the Wentworth Clubhouse and the picturesque shopping parades of Virginia Water in a particularly and quiet part of the Estate. Spacious master bedroom with en-suite bathroom and dressing room, four further bedroom suites, reception hall, drawing room, dining room, study, family room, kitchen/breakfast room, garden room, covered barbecue area, utility room, games room, bedroom six, garaging for three cars, self contained annexe, gardens of approximately 0.75 of an acre. Guide Price £4,975,000 Freehold


“Our forecast for the prime central London market in 2012 is for positive price growth, but at a slower pace than we have seen over the past two years,” said Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s head of residential research.

“We are expecting a rise of 5 percent across the whole of next year,” he said in a statement.

Prime central London property has been in vogue in 2011, with the Arab Spring and euro zone debt crisis serving as catalysts for rich buyers — particularly from Europe’s southern periphery — to snap up blue-chip properties to protect their wealth.

Prime London house prices had gained 1,202 pounds a day in value over the past year, Bailey said.

On Nov. 16, Bailey said London had performed better than any other European capital city, with its well-heeled Chelsea, South Kensington, Mayfair and Belgravia areas in demand, a trend he expected to continue.

On Monday, mortgage lender Halifax said it expected Britain’s housing market would likely stagnate in 2012, with low interest rates offset by a squeeze on household budgets.

Halifax said it expected house prices to be strongest in prosperous parts of Britain, such as London and the south-east, and weaker in areas dependent on public sector employment.