Ten per cent of property transactions have been agreed as ‘off-market sales’ so far this year, estate agency Hamptons has claimed.
Its figures, quoted in the Sunday Times over the weekend, are backed up by several leading property finders including Garrington, all of whom claim what was a preserve of the rich and famous is now spilling out into the general market.
Hamptons say the key driver behind this trend has been the recent super-hot property market across the UK, which has removed the need for property marketing on either agent websites or the big portals as pre-registered buyers leap at properties once their agents are instructed to sell them.
One buying agency, AWS Prime Property, claims the current situation is an ’iceberg market’ not many homes for sale visible publicly, but many available to those who are registered to see such offers.
Two regional agents, it is claimed, now offer password-protected access to certain properties on their websites to those who have completed a ‘proof of funds’ screening.
But as well as a hot market, this kind of activity is also blamed on vendors keen to keep viewings down to a minimum in such a busy market.
The Neg tested this out. We contacted agency The Modern House to view a £1 million property in Bromley, Kent, only to be told that the owner was only allowing viewings by ‘proceedable buyers…including those who have a property ‘under offer’ or who are chain free’.
“Post-pandemic, selling off-market has increasingly been driven by sellers keen to avoid wider marketing and limiting the number of buyers through their doors,” says Aneisha Beveridge, its Head of Research ( pictured).
“And this strategy has paid off. Buyers have been willing to pay a premium to secure their home off-market and prevent sellers from marketing the property openly to other interested parties where competition is rife.