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Estate agents report bumper July as demand rockets

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Pent-up demand from lockdown combined with Stamp Duty savings has boosted sales beyond expectations

Estate agents have reported a surge in summer activity as property buyers return to the market with a bang after lockdown.

London agency Chestertons said it has experienced the busiest July in five years, with double the number of buyers than July 2015 and 36 per cent more than 2019.

The group also received 80 per cent more website enquiries compared to last year, or 255 per cent more than five years ago.

There were 23 per cent more viewings in July than last year and 36 per cent more offers from buyers compared to 2019.

At the same time, south of England property group Andrews said viewings had jumped by a third between June and July, while physical viewings were up by 45 per cent.

Instructions were up by more than a fifth in July from June.

Chestertons cited pent-up demand, stamp duty savings and low mortgage interest rates for helping to drive activity.

‘Genuinely surprised’

Chestertons managing director Guy Gittins, said: “We have been genuinely surprised by the rate at which the London sales market has picked up since lock-down restrictions were relaxed in May, which culminated in our busiest July for over five years.

“I believe much of this is buyers taking advantage of the current prices, but also a long-overdue release of pent-up demand from buyers, some of whom have been waiting years for the right time to find the right house at the right price and now believe that this is it.”

David Westgate, group chief executive of Andrews Property Group, added: “In April viewings and instructions across the industry fell off a cliff as the country was gripped by coronavirus and the government asked us to stay at home.

“But the rebound has been swift as lockdown eased and the chancellor’s stamp duty announcement at the start of July gave the market a timely boost.

“Buyers and sellers alike have shown renewed vigour in the past six weeks.

“With a lengthy window of opportunity to purchase before the stamp holiday comes to an end, we expect buyer activity to remain buoyant over the coming months.”