House prices fall in leading London areas amid political chaos and tax hikes
Political chaos and a series of tax hikes pushed the average price of a home in London's most-desired districts down by almost 5pc last year, paring it to a low not seen since the start of 2013.
Home prices in the UK capital's prime postcodes - which include Chelsea, Islington, Kensington and Mayfair - dropped 1.5pc in the final quarter of 2018 as politicians failed to reach an accord on Brexit, data compiled by broker Knight Frank show.
That extended the decline for the year to 4.6pc. London's high-end house prices have been hit by a succession of tax reforms that have boosted the sales-tax bill for the most expensive homes to as much as 15pc of the purchase price.
The hikes, coupled with uncertainty about the country's political and economic future, has hit the market for homes and reduced transaction levels to historic lows.
"Both pricing and sales volumes were on a downward trajectory in the second half of 2018," Knight Frank's head of London residential research, Tom Bill, wrote in the report. The downturn highlights "the impact of political uncertainty over the last six months".
Prices also fell in sought-after districts on the edge of London including Canary Wharf, Hampstead, Richmond and Wimbledon.