Sales of big homes in London stall

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Buyers for big homes in London are elusive (Source: Getty)

Londoners trying to sell a house with five or more bedrooms face the longest search in the country for a buyer, taking an average of 86 days to find a deal, new research suggests.

The number of agreed sales in the capital was down nine per cent on last year in September, the study by Rightmove said, with “top of the ladder” homes proving particularly difficult to shift. Asking prices for these homes have dropped 8.6 per cent to £1,475,000 this month, compared to a 2.5 per cent fall in the overall London market.

Those with the most expensive houses are now unlikely to secure a sale by Christmas. “They have seen high gains over recent years however, so any feeling of bah-humbug should be put into that context,” said Miles Shipside, Rightmove director.

An average home in London takes 65 days to sell, up from 56 a year ago - but still have a chance to find a buyer before Christmas, 69 days away.

Read more: Mapped: How much London house prices have changed over the past 10 years

As prices reach the limits of what many buyers can afford, the value of completed sales in London fell 0.8 per cent in September, taking growth in average prices for the year to 0.7 per cent to £584,467, separate data from the estate agent group LSL showed.

Annual growth in the south east of England has slowed to 1.8 per cent, compared to 3.9 per cent growth in the north west of England.

Overall house prices across England and Wales slipped 0.1 per cent during September to £297,287, taking year-on-year growth down to 3.1 per cent. The number of transactions was a fifth lower than last year during the month.

“The future… will rely heavily on stock availability, and with housing clearly on the political agenda, what government support may be offered to those looking to buy and who will ultimately influence market activity,” said Oliver Blake, managing director of Your Move, which is part of LSL.

Read more: The 19 UK towns most at risk of a house price bubble

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