Top end London property sees 14 per cent fall in sales


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Estate agent Countrywide admitted yesterday that its sales malaise in London deepened before Christmas as the top end of London’s market took further punishment.

Countrywide’s joint London and premier business saw a 14 per cent fall in sales in the final quarter of the year as “cautious” buyers held fire, citing uncertainty over the general election and possible mansion tax and stamp duty reforms. This all but erased progress in the first half to leave London sales up just 1 per cent for 2014. Across the UK market, sales fell 2 per cent between October and December.

Finance director Jim Clarke said: “If you look at 2015, it is likely to be a tale of two halves – uncertainty in the run-up to the election and then a bounce-back in the second half. Overall, the market should be up a little bit for the year.”