London property market was boosted in March by non-Brexit

The increasing unlikeliness that Brexit would not happen at the end of March means that buyers in London returned to the markets with numbers rising as the month progresses, new research shows.

Compared to February, the number of buyers registering with agents Chestertons throughout the month of March was up 6%, while the number of property viewings increased by 8.3% and the number of offers made by buyers increased by 3.4%.

The data also shows that the number of sales falling through before contracts were exchanged also nearly halved, down 42.9%, which Chesterton says suggests people are committed to their purchases once they have an offer accepted.

The first quarter’s figures also compare favourably to this time last year, with the number of new buyers coming to the market increasing 36.5%, property viewings undertaken up 13.6%, offers up 7.6% and even exchanges up 12.6%.

The firm has seen a positive shift in buyer behaviour since the start of the year. ‘As the original Brexit deadline got closer, we expected buyers to take a wait and see approach and for the market to slow down temporarily in March,’ said Guy Gittins, Chestertons managing director.

‘The opposite actually happened and buyers became increasingly active, which suggests that people either did not believe that Brexit would happen or have become so fatigued with the B-word that they are deciding to carry on regardless,’ he explained.

‘Our concern has been that there are very few new properties coming onto the market to feed this demand, and our figures show that compared to this time last year, the number of new properties being marketed is down 21%,’ he pointed out.

‘Again, however, March held some good news as 5.6% more properties came onto the market compared to February and the total number of available properties stood 4.1% higher. This suggests that some of the most motivated buyers are now putting their own properties on the market so as to be in a position to buy,’ he added.

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