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Make Hay while the Sun Shines!

Tue 30 Jul 2013

Finally after years of waiting, we (at last) have a glorious summer! Its remarkable how a few weeks of sunshine can cheer everyone up. People who have been on lockdown over the winter and spring have finally come out of the woodwork, and its great to see the positive impact - the parks are full, as are local shops, restaurants and pubs, all evoking a real sense of community spirit!

Its at this time of year that the London residential sales market generally draws breath before the busy autumn market. Unusually however, this year the market appears to be steaming ahead. If anything, the good weather has worked in its favour, encouraging prospective buyers into the market, creating fierce competition for those sellers deciding that now is the best time to sell.

Indeed, our latest market report, London Property Monitor reports that 11% more buyers entered the market in competition for 14% fewer properties, a direct result of the increasing imbalance between supply and demand. So its unsurprising that property is changing hands in record time for, on average, 98% of the asking price and in some cases substantially higher.

August is not traditionally seen as the best time of year to sell a property, however with the market remaining busy, I think there are a couple of good reasons why it might be an idea to test the water now.

  • Buyers searching now are generally of a high calibre; many of them having lost out in the spring market, and as a result will not only have everything in place (solicitors, finance etc) to ensure a speedy transaction, they will be more likely to offer the full asking price, and sometimes more, in order to secure their dream home.
  • Properties for sale in London are at an all time low, with 18 buyers on average for each available property. The autumn will of course deliver more buyers, however at the same time, a disproportionately higher number of properties will come onto the market, in effect reducing competition amongst purchasers. And many of these buyers will be new to the market, indecisive and unlikely to buy before Christmas.

Not uncommon for this time of year, the lettings market is also fiercely competitive with savvy tenants recognising that by securing a property now, they will avoid the bun fight in September.

Landlords with vacant a property, or tenancies due to expire soon, should already have their properties on the marketif not, do it now! The number of prospective tenants will increase come September, however - as with sales, so will the number of properties reducing the chances of achieving a premium price.

Every year, without fail, it amazes me that many people, including some of our competitors, assume the market shuts down for August. Please let me assure you that this is not the case. As I repeatedly remind my teams, AUGUST IS A STATE OF MIND! The market is alive and kicking, so why wouldnt you use this opportunity to make hay whilst the sun shines?

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