Prime central London sales hit an all-time low in 2016

An apartment block is constructed behind a row of traditional properties in central London December 11, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - The number of London's top-end city centre homes sold last year fell to a record low, according to an analysis of official data, continuing a trend of falling demand due to increases in property tax and the Brexit vote.

Sales of top houses and apartments in prime central London fell by 29 percent to 3,330, the residential fund London Central Portfolio (LCP) said on Monday, the lowest level in any 12-month period since records began in 1996.

Demand in London's priciest postcodes has fallen since taxes were increased on properties worth over one million pounds and on second homes and buy-to-let properties, compounded by the Brexit vote putting off some foreign investors.

Many potential sellers have held off putting their properties on the market, reducing the number of transactions but pushing up prices in parts of town where availability has been hit, according to some property consultants.

Average prices rose 3.8 percent to just over 1.8 million pounds in 2016 mainly due to an increase of 14 percent in the final three months of the year compared to the previous period.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison)

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