London buyers return to the market despite Brexit uncertainty

Michael Lloyd

April 26, 2019

The increasing unlikeliness that Brexit would happen on March 29 saw London buyers return to the market throughout March, London estate agent Chestertons has found.

There was a month-on-month increase in the number of people registering to look for properties, viewing properties and offering on properties.

Guy Gittins, Chestertons managing director, said: “We have noticed a dramatic shift in buyer behaviour since the start of the year, with many more people registering with us to buy, but also going out to view properties and also making offers.

“However, 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.

“In the event, 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.

“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%.

“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.”

Compared to February, the number of buyers registering with Chestertons throughout the month of March was up 6%, while the number of property viewings shot up 18.3% and the number of offers made by buyers increased by a respectable 3.4%.

The number of sales transactions falling through before contracts were exchanged also nearly halved (down 42.9%), suggesting that people are committed to their purchases once they have an offer accepted.

The first quarter’s figures also compared 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%.

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