'Discreet' sellers return to London homes market

Friday, 28 January 2011 2:22 PM

An acute shortage of prime London property has prompted the return of off-market sales, the experts at consultancy firm Sandfords have said.

Andrew Ellinas, director at the company, said that sellers are opting to market their properties "discreetly" to a select group of wealthy buyers keen to purchase and willing to pay a premium for the right home.

He explained: "International buyers are still flooding the capital looking to secure a prime property, so these off-market sales are set to increase while the supply shortage continues.

"We have sold 34 per cent more prime homes in exclusive roads in Regent’s Park and Marylebone in January so far than in the same period last year," Ellinas added.

The Sandfords director went on to say that around 90 per cent of the firm's buyers were cash-rich and in no need of a mortgage, so paying more to secure their ideal property is "of little concern" to them.

Meanwhile, estate agents Douglas & Gordon have said that quality high-end homes are continuing to see "strong demand" from buyers.

However, according to Nick Pejacsevich, assistant manager at the firm, many prime property buyers are "very particular" about their desired home.

"They are obviously not buying just anything that comes on. It is a selective market," he added.

Figures from Investec recently revealed that competition for properties worth over £1 million has fallen in recent times.

An average of eight buyers chased each house at the end of 2008, compared with just five last year.

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