Knight Frank: Record levels of offers accepted a month after lockdown lifted

Ryan Fowler

June 15, 2020

home sales

The number of offers being accepted outside the capital in the week to 6 June was the highest on record, and up 52% compared to the five-year average, according to Knight Frank.

In London, the figure was 34% above the five-year average and the third-highest weekly figure this year.

Damian Gray, head of Knight Frank’s Oxford office, said: “Enquiry activity has been extraordinary. I’ve never been contacted by so many people that want to live outside London.

“Vendors are generally listening to advice and a lot of the property being brought to market now is being priced more realistically. Buyers meanwhile are happy to pay the right amount and go for it.”

Restrictions on UK property transactions were lifted on 13 May following an eight-week period during which physical viewings ground to a halt and demand remained muted.

For markets outside London in the week ending 6 June, the figure was the highest it has been since May 2018 and was 14% ahead of the five-year average.

In London, the number was 54% ahead of the five-year average but lower than levels recorded at the start of this year when the post-election bounce had an impact.

The reason that markets outside of the capital are currently setting records comes down to price said David Peters, head of Knight Frank’s Country Business.

The average discount to the asking price for sales outside London is 1.2% since the market re-opened. That compared to 2.4% during the market lockdown. In London, the average discount has narrowed to 5.5% from 6.4% over the same period.

Peters said: “What this reflects is that prices outside London have been more realistic for a longer period of time and are therefore now showing more resilience.

“House prices outside the capital peaked in the third quarter of 2007, however they remain below this high point and growth has been subdued in recent years.

“Meanwhile, London prices are now between 20% and 40% above the pre-financial crisis peak of 2007.

“This price differential has been allied to a trend for more buyers to seek outdoor space. While web views for London properties were 13% below the five-year average in the week ending 6 June, outside London there was a 13% increase.”

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