Will the summer sun shine on the buyer or the seller?

The sun has come out and London estate agent Cluttons predicts that average central London house and flat prices will fall 10 per cent in 2009, then level off in 2010 and start to rise in 2011. It expects average prices to drop a total of 27 per cent from their September 2007 high. In its previous forecast in February, it put this figure at a more gloomy 29 per cent.

James Hyman, partner for residential sales at Cluttons, says that recent market activity, with strong demand from international purchasers and a more limited supply of property than expected, have led to this moderation in the overall fall in values. Cluttons’ May 2009 residential property forecast predicts price rises of six per cent in 2011 and 10 per cent in 2012.

“Strong demand and London’s restricted potential for property development will remain key drivers for growth, along with the capital’s fundamental strength as a global financial centre,” says Mr Hyman.

Meanwhile, the number and quality of properties coming on to the market in London and the country has been disappointing, according to specialist acquisitions adviser Prime Purchase. The period from April to mid-May, when buying is usually intense, has not seen the expected number of properties coming on the market, limiting choice for registered buyers keen to acquire and making the work of buying agents particularly demanding.

Jonathan Bramwell, head of country property at Prime Purchase says: “There are opportunities for buyers, but these have been limited by the lack of good houses and estates available. The number of country properties being advertised for sale is down by some 50 per cent on last year and this has resulted in the very best properties getting the viewings and offers.”

    Last updated: 5:34pm, June 11 2009