Luxury London house prices were unchanged in October, the first time in four years without a monthly rise. To thrifty millionaires, that’s a buy signal.
London property-buying agents have seen an influx of bargain hunters knocking on their doors. Many are the same clients that balked at eye-watering asking prices earlier this year.
The leveling off in October shown by the Knight Frank data is widely expected to continue ahead of the U.K.’s general election next May.
Data like this encouraged one potential buyer from China to book a trip to view London homes on Dec. 20, said Penny Mosgrove, managing director at buying agent Quintessentially Estates. Her client has left empty handed on four previous trips this year, but “he thinks that right before Christmas he’ll be more likely to get his bargain,” Ms. Mosgrove said.
Evidence of the cooling market has extended beyond price data. Last month, real-estate broker Foxtons GroupFOXT.LN +0.30% warned it would miss year-end targets due to weak London sales volumes. The firm’s stock Friday was trading at 172 pence, about 57% below its peak of 402 pence reached in February.
That share price was all one American client of Ms. Mosgrove’s needed to see to stop dragging his feet after a nine-month search, Ms. Mosgrove said. “He came in and said that’s it, I want a deal,” she said.
However, bargain hunters shouldn’t expect to find a raft of reduced prices. Lots of sellers are still holding firm, said Jo Eccles, managing director of buying agent Sourcing Property. “Everybody is getting very excited about the market collapsing. But the bargain hunters we’re seeing are usually disappointed,” she said.