Fall could be a lot chillier than usual for owners of London's prime properties, as the latest estimates from real estate agency Savills forecast falling or stagnant house price growth until mid-2019.
This follows a report from another agency, Knight Frank, showing a 1.8 percent annual drop in Prime Central London (PCL) house values in the year to August. Knight Frank puts the declining values down to unsustainable price growth in the four years leading up to a Summer 2014 peak, compounded by a series of changes to stamp duty, which were implemented in December 2014.
The higher duties have caused a shriveling of transaction volumes, with sales levels in five prime London boroughs falling by an average of more than 5 percent per year in the five years to March 2016 - the most since Land Registry records began in 1995.
According to Tom Bill, Head of London Residential Research at Knight Frank, "current rates of stamp duty have distorted market behavior across London to an extent not seen in the last 20 years."
The knock-on effect from a stagnant market tends to be falling prices as sellers try to stir buyer interest. More explicitly, the higher stamp duty charges are slowly being accounted for as deductions from asking prices. Hence, a key reason why areas where average prices - and therefore stamp duty taxes - are highest are seeing the sharpest price falls.
Bill says this effect is starting to filter through.