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June 21 delay? It won’t hurt market says senior agent

A senior estate agent says even if the restrictions easing lockdown, still formally scheduled for June 21, are delayed by several weeks this will not be a problem for the market. 

Cory Askew, head of sales at London-focussed agency Chestertons, says: “Buyer confidence is growing. As a result of the sustained high demand from house hunters, buyers now find themselves in a sellers’ market. 

“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.”

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His comments come as Chestertons reports that even in London - where the housing market was lagging well behind the buoyancy of the rest of the country - there are signs of improvements.

The agency says there are 19 per cent fewer sellers now willing to drop their asking price, after months of relative house price stagnation in the capital.

Guy Gittins, Chestertons chief executive, says: “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 Chestertons seeing a nine per cent increase in sales in May compared to April.

“We have seen exceptional transaction volumes so far in 2021, with three times more buyers than usual. Viewings have been at a five-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.

“The phasing out of the stamp duty holiday does not appear to be slowing buyer demand and we anticipate the market will remain buoyant throughout the summer. Rightmove recently reported on seeing the biggest national sales pipeline in a decade and Chestertons’ own pipeline of sales at various stages of progress rose by six per cent in May.”

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