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LONDON-The residential property market is entering a transitional phase. That’s the conclusion of new research by Chesterton Residential.

Chesterton says that, while property has been relatively unaffected by the stock market over the last three years or so, things are beginning to change as the recently announced redundancies have done little to boost consumer confidence. The likelihood that City workers will miss out on their bonuses is adding to speculation that the top end of the market, in particular, may suffer.

‘Prices are currently rising at a slower rate throughout much of London and will continue to do so over the coming months’ said Alastair Crowhurst, director at Chesterton Residential. ‘The poor performance of the stock market and the threat of war is hindering property sales to an extent although low interest rates and high demand are helping to keep the middle market strong.’

Pockets of London such as Docklands, Hampstead, Knightsbridge and Wimbledon are seeing strong supply but applicant levels are falling. Vendors are needing to react by being more open to offers. Crowhurst believes that for applicants this represents a great time to buy. ‘Where demand has exceeded supply of stock in the recent past, the tide is now turning, keeping the prices in check,’ he said.

However, to allay fears of a falling market, Chesterton’s Hyde Park office reports that even with the market slowing down properties in prime condition and in prime locations are still very much in demand. Fewer viewings haven’t put a stop on sales on high calibre properties.

Meanwhile, the lettings market is beginning to show signs of recovery with the rental values on flats increasing the most. “Our stock of rental properties seems to have reduced since July,” said Rachel Askew, senior lettings manager in Pimlico. “Eventually we hope this will increase pressure on rental prices forcing them upwards again.”

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