London property agents ask for realistic pricing


Residential and commercial estate agents in London are asking that sellers set their prices at reasonable levels, as the market continues to stagnate.

Estate agents across the capital are warning that the market could soon enter a period of stagnation, which could act as a precursor to a sudden fall in prices. The gap between asking prices and offers is widening, as sellers refuse to accept the current state of the market.

The average property now stays on the market for 87 days, figures from Rightmove show.

"The introduction of home information packs, the failure of Northern Rock, the negative press about the US sub-prime market – they all hit about three months ago," Chris Brown, president-elect of the National Association of Estate Agents, commented.

"That is why it is taking so long to sell. The only properties that are moving are the ones where a price correction has been taken into account by the seller."

Ed Mead, sales director at Douglas & Gordon, says that prices in central London have already decreased by around five per cent – and he adds that whenever prices drop, it "always takes about 90 days for vendors to believe it".