An agency is warning some house hunters that they face a more competitive time this year following a “truly remarkable” change in market conditions.
Estate agency Chestertons urges buyers looking at London properties to be as prepared as possible to be able to act fast.
The advice comes following the agency’s latest market analysis for January which shows 51 per cent more buyers entering the market and 35 per cent more property viewings compared to January last year.
This level of buyer demand has created beneficial conditions for sellers and, as a result, the number of homeowners willing to drop their asking prices has dropped by 44 per cent.
At the same time, the number of available properties for sale has fallen by eight per cent compared to January 2021. This, says Chestertons, has led to buyers facing tougher bidding wars with fellow house hunters.
“Last year, we saw many house hunters feeling left in limbo as the impact of the pandemic created a strong sense of economic uncertainty. Since then, buyer confidence has clearly returned and there has been a drastic increase in demand for houses and apartments alike” explains Guy Gittins, chief executive of Chestertons.
“To see new buyer enquiries of this scale at the beginning of the year is truly remarkable and a strong indication for the market to remain buoyant for at least the first half of 2022.”
Cory Askew, Chestertons’ head of sales, adds: “Having been raised twice in three months, interest rates are expected to continue rising this year and with house prices also rising, it is no surprise to see a lot of buyers keen to secure a property early in the year.
“There is a well-founded fear amongst buyers that if they wait, they will either be priced out of the market or have to pay higher mortgage rates, both of which will ultimately force them to compromise on the property they could have had.”
The agency says the London areas in particularly high demand with property buyers are South Kensington, Islington, Camden, Battersea & Clapham, Fulham and Barnes.