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LONDON-There are clear signs that the London residential market is slowing down,according to a report released today by agency Knight Frank. The companysuggests that, while higher Stamp Duty and concerns over mortgageinterest rates are playing their part, unrealistic expectations ofprices amongst home owners are also playing a key role.

‘The continuous nature of rises in property values over the past fewyears has apparently led some vendors to assume that every sale willbreak new records,’ says Chris Hart, partner at Knight Frank’s office inWimbledon, southwest London. ‘Clearly this is unrealistic and in thisarea the pace of the market has slowed.’

Knight Frank has advised clients to price their properties sensibly inorder to attract a number of prospective buyers, which may result in asale being agreed at above asking terms because of the competition. ‘Anover-priced property on the other hand will not sell, will go stale onthe market and will eventually need a price reduction,’ says Hart.

Grant Alexson at Knight Frank in Hampstead, NW3, says, ‘London buyersare very discerning and look at a number of properties; they soon learnwhat is good value in their particular price range. If a property is onthe market at too high a price it simply will not sell.’Alexson adds that the huge surge in Hampstead house prices is no longertaking place but notes, ‘They have consolidated at record levels anyway,but demand is still very high.’

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