It looks like rocketing house prices are having a demotivating effect on London home buyers, after new figures suggested demand for homes has fallen across many of the capital's most exclusive boroughs.
The figures, by online estate agent Emoov, found demand for homes in Southwark fell 50 per cent between the final quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year, while in Kingston demand fell 45 per cent, and in Hounslow it fell 41 per cent.
In fact, of only two London boroughs made Emoov's list of property "hotspots" (based on Emoov's Property Hotspots Index, which measures the total number of properties sold in comparison to those on sale). Those are Bexley, which at 76 per cent took the top spot in the index, and Sutton, with 61 per cent, at number 10.
Meanwhile, Westminster took the dubious accolade of being the UK's "coldest" spot – followed by Kensington and Chelsea. Southwark and Hammersmith and Fulham were also among the bottom 10, at seventh and 10th spots respectively.
The index also suggested that while demand across the UK has increased nine per cent in the past year, it has actually fallen five per cent on a quarterly basis.
Given other research has suggested a buying frenzy ahead of a hike in stamp duty on buy-to-let properties, which took place at the beginning of this month, that comes as a surprise.
“Interesting to see that despite the rush ahead of April’s stamp duty deadline, the UK market as a whole has cooled during the first half of the year," said Russell Quirk, Emoov's chief executive.
"Although it’s undoubtedly a seasonal influence due to the festive period, it would seem that those looking to push through a second home or buy to let purchase, didn’t have the overall demand impact that many thought they would."
Figures from Nationwide, published earlier this month, suggested stamp duty wasn't the only factor pushing up house prices.
"It is possible that the recent pattern of strong employment growth, rising real earnings, low borrowing costs and constrained supply will keep the demand/supply balance tilted in favour of sellers and maintain pressure on price growth in the quarters ahead," said Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, at the time.
Great. Bring on the army of first-time buyers…