17 Jan 2021
City flats such as those in London are proving twice as hard to sell as houses. This is no doubt in part due to the lockdown and buyer’s demand for outside space. However the cladding issue is leaving a lot of people stranded and this feeds all the way up the property ladder in those chain sales.
The Times reported this weekend that flat sales fell by about 5,600, or 48%, in September, down from 11,500 transactions during the same month in 2019. This is at a time when overall volumes were up +8% year-on-year.
The sales rate of flats in London in January 2021 is 32% leaving two thirds of vendors to withdraw unsold, whereas the sales rate of houses is 58%.
Despite rumours that the property market was potentially going to be forced to close this week, nothing came to fruition. Good agents have been working incredibly hard to allow those who are keen to purchase property and those who are keen sellers to be able to achieve their goal. Most are working on skeleton staff so those ‘on call’ are dealing with double the work.
We are still seeing marked differences in activity between areas. In general, the higher populated areas are seeing less activity in relation to viewings but offers are still being generated. Many agents, particularly in these areas, are noticing the most active buyers are either property investors or those in proceedable positions looking for what they consider a ‘good deal’.
If you are planning to list your property now ensure that you are aware of how your chosen agent is working in the current climate. You won’t benefit from an online listing without a proactive agent actively working their database of buyers.
The virtual viewing is definitely back. We were seeing agents using these successfully in the first lockdown and amidst fears that the property market may be shut down for a short period, many agents are commissioning videos of all their properties so that they are able to conduct online viewings where necessary. These have proved particularly useful for property investors based abroad. We have seen a number of properties go under offer to rental investors ‘unseen’. If you are looking to sell a rented property, now may be a good time to consider listing.
For those sellers negotiating offers and working through the sales process, make sure your agent and solicitor keep the momentum going. The longer a sales process takes the more likely people are to have a change of circumstance or change of heart.
Have a lovely Sunday evening.
The Movewise Team