Stamp duty changes and Brexit uncertainty are weighing on prime London house prices – Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

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Central London house prices stalled in February as the prices in the rest of the country and outer boroughs marched on.

The difference between the number of property surveyors who said London prices had gone up minus those that had said they had gone down was three per cent. The same statistic for the UK was 50 per cent, according to the data released this morning by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

The slowdown was concentrated in Central London, with a balance of 20 per cent of surveyors saying prices had dropped over the last three months.

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A balance of 28 per cent said all London prices would fall over the next three months.

The weakest price growth was expected for four bedroom properties, suggesting part of the slowdown was due to stamp duty changes.

Separate figures published by estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains showed London house prices rose 6.8 per cent year-on-year in February driven by growth in commuter hot spots. Prices are down on the year in four of the five most expensive London boroughs but have risen by double digits in the cheapest 12 boroughs.

Read more: How Brexit could affect property prices

“Tax changes, foreign market slow-downs and uncertainty over Brexit are all being mooted as potential reasons behind the changes in demand. This is not necessarily indicative of the long-term market and the depreciation of the pound could encourage overseas investors back in to the market as could the outcome of the European referendum,” said Rics chief economist Simon Rubinsohn.

“Despite the upswing in the capital’s overall property values, sales have slipped 4.6 per cent in the three months November 2015 to January 2016, compared to the same three months one year earlier. This is largely due to a lack of homes for sale combined with more caution at the top of the market, rather than a general decline in demand,” said Your Move and Reeds Rains director Adrian Gill.

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