Estate agent Chestertons has enjoyed its strongest start to any year since the previous peak of the market in 2014 in terms of revenue and profitability, due to more buyers and tenants flooding the market.
In the first three months of 2019, Chestertons’ lettings division increased its revenue by 17% year-on-year, while its sales division also reported a moderate increase of 3%. This figure is surprising given that over the same period, the number of new properties coming on to the market dropped 21%.
Guy Gittins, managing director of Chestertons, said: “For a while now, there has been a misconception that the London property market has ground to a halt due to Brexit paranoia.
“While it is true that sales volumes have fallen since their peak, we have seen a sharp increase in buyer numbers and buyer activity, which started at the end of last year.
“With Brexit seemingly still some time away, the pent-up demand from these buyers has started to be released and turn into sales activity, as seen by our figures from the first quarter of the year.
“We have seen a similar mindset from tenants who have noticed the sharp drop in the number of available properties coming onto the rental market and are acting quickly and decisively to secure a property.
“Our focus on utilising new technology to improve internal processes and making our back office functions more efficient has started to really pay dividends and we are now actively looking for suitable acquisitions, especially lettings businesses, that we could assimilate into our existing structure.”
It said the increased revenue is a direct result of the surge in the number of buyers and tenants flooding into the market since the start of the year that Chestertons first reported in February.
Compared to the first three months of last year, Chestertons’ sales department has registered 36% more buyers, conducted 13% more viewings and achieved 12% more exchanges.
Meanwhile in lettings, there have been 23% more tenants registered and 17% more offers made, both of which have resulted in 5% more new tenancies agreed.