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London house prices: Home buyers increasingly face a sellers’ market




Michiel Willems

London’s property market witnessed a 19.4 per cent decrease in the number of sellers willing to drop their asking prices, according to new data shared with City A.M. this morning.

The uplift in sellers’ confidence, researched by Chestertons, echoes Halifax’s latest House Price Index for May, which revealed that the average property price in London is now 3.1 per cent higher than a year ago.

“As the nation is slowly coming out of lockdown, buyer confidence is growing. As a result of the sustained high demand from house hunters, buyers now find themselves in a sellers’ market,” explained Cory Askew, head of sales at Chestertons.

“Even if the easing of current lockdown restrictions is postponed, we believe the property market will remain buoyant as buyers are eager to find a deal before property prices rise further,” Askew told City A.M.

Guy Gittins, CEO of Chestertons, added that May’s market performance stood out because of the “rare scenario” of supply meeting demand. Chestertons’ branches had 38 per cent more properties on the market compared to May last year, whilst the cumulative number of buyers entering the market is up 31 per cent year to date.

“Normally, the UK’s housing market demonstrates a clear imbalance between these two indicators with demand often outstripping supply. This has helped to translate demand into actual sales, with us seeing a 9 per cent increase in sales in May compared to April,” Gittins said.

Viewings at a five-year high
The market is seeing “exceptional transaction volumes” so far in 2021, with three times more buyers than usual.

“Viewings have been at a 5-year high for the past three months. This has led to competitive bidding but with supply meeting demand, large price increases have been kept at bay,” Gittins noted.

The phasing out of the Stamp Duty holiday does not appear to be slowing buyer demand and the market anticipates it will remain buoyant throughout the rest of the summer.

Rightmove recently reported on seeing the biggest national sales pipeline in a decade and Chestertons shared that its own pipeline of sales at various stages of progress rose by about 6 per cent in May.



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