The most common reason for selling a prime London property is to cash in on capital returns and release investments, according to Marsh And Parsons.

The estate agency found 43% of sellers in the area put their homes on the market in order to release their investments in the first quarter of 2016.

Nearly a third sold in order to buy to a bigger home and 19% intended to relocate after finding a buyer.

Only 5% of prime London sellers put their property on the market in order to downsize, while 3% were sold due to divorce.

Marsh And Parsons CEO David Brown said: “The London property market has long been the home of outstanding capital returns – especially in infamous prime central postcodes.

“The vast majority of Londoners are understandably attempting to capitalise on the rapid rise in house prices over the past few years, alongside the steady stream of eager buyers, by selling their home in order to liquidate their investment.

“But in prime central areas, there is much greater appetite to downsize and relocate elsewhere to circumvent the more stringent Stamp Duty levy, which they will have to pay as a buyer on their next purchase.

“However, property sellers in outer prime London are more likely to be looking to move up the ladder.

“These more affordable locations act as a great springboard for many first-time buyers and young professionals, with lower property prices enabling their first foray onto the housing ladder, yet still delivering some of the strongest house price growth and capital returns on offer across the capital.”

Homes above the Stamp Duty threshold of £1.5million were mainly sold to release investments as were half of properties within the bracket of £950,001 and £1.5million.

Half of houses put on the market within the Stamp Duty bracket of £950,001 – £1.5million, were to release investments.

More than two thirds sold their properties between £250,001 and £925,000 and none intended to downsize.

Upsizing was more common for these sellers, while releasing investments was less of a consideration.

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