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.”