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London Property Sales Surge Almost 40% After Brexit
11 Jul

Prime real estate deals in the city soared in the week following the June 23 referendum, as a slide in the British pound attracted bargain hunters taking advantage of panic that set in over the weekend.

Sales increased 38% compared with the previous week, according to data from Knight Frank. The leading UK real estate brokerage said month-on-month sales were 29% higher, in the immediate aftermath.

Liam Bailey, global head of research for Knight Frank, said: "We saw a definite uptick."In recent years London's position as a global financial centre has attracted investors in property from wealthy Middle East royals, Russian oligarchs and Asian billionaires.

As the pound tumbled many looked to sweep up more penthouses and townhouses in the city, showing they are keen to continue investment in the country.

Those using the dollar had a particular advantage when the British pound dropped 15% against the greenback.

Bailey said: "Our Hong Kong investors especially tell us they see currency opportunity. We certainly are seeing a scattering of sales because of the currency movement."

Experts have also claimed the lift in sales was in part due to sellers who lowered prices both before and after the Brexit vote.

Tom Bill, Knight Frank's head of London residential research said: "Weaker price growth, together with rising economic and market uncertainty surrounding the European vote, has prompted vendors to reduce asking prices over recent months."

However, as the FTSE 100 bounces back and the pound begins to recover, the sales surge is not expected to last the summer.Mr Bailey said data on showings and buyer interest suggests that many plan to stay on the side-lines in coming month.

Singapore's United Overseas Bank, among others, have halted mortgages for London properties.

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