5th May 2021

Record low transaction volumes in Prime Central London in 2020 at under 60 per week on average

The Prime Central London (PCL) residential property market in 2020 experienced the lowest volume of annual sales transactions on record. Recently released sales data from HM Land Registry, analysed by London Central Portfolio, suggests that in PCL:
  • Only 2,936 transactions took place throughout 2020.
  • Less than 60 sales took place per week on average.
  • Annual transactions were 42% lower than the 10-year average.
  • Annual transactions were 75% below the peak of 11,660 in 1999.
Within PCL, which comprises the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, there are approximately 213,000 homes. This implies that a property in PCL would only change hands on average once in every 73 years at current transaction levels. This is now over double the average time a property in Greater London is held, at 29 years.
Andrew Weir, CEO of London Central Portfolio, comments "PCL did not benefit from the price growth experienced by the broader UK housing market during the pandemic. The low transaction volumes demonstrate that real estate in this market is ‘tightly held’ and properties are not listed for sale during times of price suppression, which effectively creates a bottom line for property prices. Sellers have been reluctant to place their property on the open market due to a lack of international investors resulting in volumes falling beyond the previous low levels witnessed in the immediate aftermath of the GFC and the years following the EU referendum.

The latest data also suggests that the stamp duty holiday has had a limited impact on the PCL market and has been more of a ‘nice-to-have’ than a driving factor.

With the easing of lockdown restrictions and a successful vaccine roll out, we expect to see the return of some Londoners who look to re-establish their city life. The current lack of overseas buyers presents a short window of opportunity for the domestic market," comments Weir.
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For more information please contact:
Andrew Weir, CEO of London Central Portfolio by email:
Amelia Vevers, PR & Marketing Manager by email:

About London Central Portfolio (LCP)
For UK and overseas property investors and homebuyers seeking exclusive prime London real estate, LCP provides superior access to buying opportunities as well as meticulous project management and creative design solutions, to suit all aspirations and budgets. Using sophisticated financial modelling with a detailed appraisal of every proposed opportunity, LCP will negotiate and secure each property for the best price and as part of its end-to-end service, offer an efficient letting & management service so landlords can enjoy a seamless, hands-off investment.
Source: LCP’s analysis is based on HM Land Registry data © Crown copyright and database right 2020. This data is licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0. Please note that transactions are only recorded in the index once the purchases have been registered, as such, historical volumes can be revised. Dwelling figures in PCL have been sourced from the Greater London Authority Housing in London 2020 report.