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London agency still making sales despite lockdown but for how much longer?

Guy Gittins, MD of 33-branch Chestertons says buyer registrations have increased significantly and that buyers are still keen, although sales activity across the market has dropped.

Sheila Manchester

estate agency

It’s a grim time for almost all businesses, including those in the property market but despite the inability to do physical viewings, London estate agency Chestertons reports that it generated 250 new sales offers and agreed 88 new sales over the first two weeks of lock-down, demonstrating that the sales market in the capital is quieter than usual, but far from dead.

Looking at March as a whole, estate agency Chestertons’ properties were viewed online 13% more than March 2019 and its agents are registering over 500 new buyers per week since the lock-down. The days immediately following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the lock-down on 16th March were the quietest, but activity picked up by the end of the week and has been relatively steady since.

Chestertons has been quick to embrace video viewings and currently around 30% of the properties it is marketing for sale are available to view by video, either as a live walk-through with the occupier or via a pre-recorded video tour.

Guy Gittins, Chestertons Managing Director, told The Negotiator that, “The bottom line is that people still need to move, still trust property as a solid long-term investment and are not expecting prices to change dramatically as a result of the pandemic. Although normality sometimes feels like a lifetime ago, restrictions will be lifted at some point and once that happens, we are anticipating a bounce as the pent-up demand is released over the months following.”

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April 14, 2020


  1. 88 sales over 2 weeks across 33 offices is 1.33 sales per office per week. This is obviously low but is still a great result under the current circumstances.
    Would love to know how many of these were in the first week of shutdown and were potentials carried over from the week before.
    Would be great to publish the result for week 3 and 4 combined to see if its sustained or it drops.
    The above is based on my own experience of having deals to work on for the first week of shutdown but nothing of any note since then.

  2. Guy Gittings a very capable MD is like many having to walk a very difficult tightrope at present, with lockdown viewing are a no go in reality, but with Spring the usual starting gun for instructions and sales the pent up demand from those wishing to transact business is still there.

    Anecdotally, the amount of leads generated from property portals is steady, though with minimal listings in real terms across the all of the branches in the UK, this may slow if there is less ‘new to view’.

    As ever it is a waiting game, but with stock levels frozen just at the point that agents traditionally list at their top rate, late March to early June, it remains to be seen how many precious weeks of listings and sales will be stopped by lockdown, at present it looks like the first week in May is the very earliest anything will change, my thoughts it will be much later.

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