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‘Wait and see’ approach blamed for fall in number of transactions

Between July and September, the number of transactions in central London fell 3.6 per cent despite Chesterton Humberts’ report that stock levels were up 13.5 per cent.

The report suggests that this is due to an increasingly common  ‘wait and see’ mentality from both buyers and sellers who are confused by a lack of clarity over proposed tax legislation, a problematic mortgage market and wider economic uncertainties.

“There is still a gap between buyer and seller expectations, albeit having narrowed slightly," said Nick Barnes, head of research at Chesterton Humberts. "Sellers are willing and able to hang on until prices rise to an acceptable level and so are reluctant to adjust asking prices, while buyers bide their time until the ‘right property’ at the ‘right price’ becomes available, thereby reducing market liquidity.

"This gap, combined with a more protracted due diligence procedure from both solicitors and banks, is adding to the general uncertainty about the future and holding transaction activity back.”