Overseas buyers are poised to take advantage of London's tumbling property prices and the falling value of the pound, according to real estate experts.
American and Middle Eastern buyers with dollars to spend are circling the capital's most expensive areas in the hope of hoovering up a bargain as British buyers desert the market.
Mayfair, Kensington and Knightsbridge could benefit from sales as the year wears on, although bargains across the capital are also catching the eye of rich foreign buyers.
"Almost overnight the the devaluation of Sterling and the reduction of property prices has made London a cheaper place to buy," says James Geddes of investment advisers Property Vision.
"In December 80 per cent of the people we spoke to in the Middle East were interested in UK property, most of them looking to buy in summer this year. It's similar to what happened after Black Wednesday in the 90s."
The news could be a lifeline to west London's stagnant property market and homeowners keen to shift premium houses during the downturn.
Estate agents in the exclusive areas of west London are registering more foreign buyers than ever before.
Staff at Wetherell, in Mayfair, said sales have slumped by 40 per cent compared to their peak in 2007.
As a result sellers have been forced to slash their prices by up to 10 per cent on exclusive homes, which were at one stage believed to be insulated from the recession. A 2,1600 sq ft three-bed flat in Carlos Place, Mayfair, has been reduced from £4.25million to £3.75 in a bid to attract buyers.
Shaun Crocket, sales director at Wetherell said: "As the dollar and euro continue to strengthen against the pound, and property prices are reduced, we are already seeing a significant increase in demand from overseas buyers who are attracted by properties that are, to them, half price."
The important of foreign investment in a flagging property market has persuaded one Chelsea-based estate agents to hire multi-lingual staff.
Ed Mead, director of Douglas & Gordon said: "In the Chelsea office alone we have five languages, and with the sharp increase in interest from the Middle East, Europe and some Indians and Russians, I rarely hear them in English."