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London £10m-plus home sales rise by a third

Sales of 'super-prime' £10 million-plus central London properties have risen by a third in the year to date, according to estate agent Knight Frank.The firm stated that the residences are nearly double the levels recorded in 2012, due to the return of Russian buyers and vendors reducing asking prices, the Financial Times reports.While Knight Frank did not give absolute numbers, the data suggested about 140-150 transactions took place between January and October, based on an average of locational 'hotspots' published by the agent on Tuesday."A large contributory factor is that vendors, who are typically discretionary sellers, have lowered their asking prices by between five and ten per cent in order to achieve a sale," Knight Frank said.The average sale prices of £10 million homes continued to grow by 3.3 per cent month-on-month during October as asking prices were falling.Tim Wright, of Knight Frank's prime central London team, said Russian buyers had accounted for just over one-fifth of sales of properties in this price bracket in the past six months. This was a rise of 13 per cent on the previous half-year period.However, people who hold assets in roubles have experienced a fall in their buying power, as the currency has fallen by about a third against the pound this year.The largest number of £10 million plus sales was recorded in Belgravia and Knightsbridge, but more high value properties were traded in locations surrounding Regent's Park and Marylebone.Labour and Liberal Democrat proposals for a mansion tax on homes worth more than £2 million have subdued demand in London, although this has tended to be in the £2 million to £5 million end of the prime market.Earlier this week, mortgage lender Halifax said that the top end of the London housing market could be affected by "reduced levels of demand and activity" due to "global economic worries".An outlook statement released by the lender predicted a moderation in house price growth as supply and demand become more balanced. 

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