Fewer vendors willing to negotiate on asking prices as boom continues

The number of sellers in London willing to drop their asking price has dropped by a fifth, as the market recovery continues.

With demand rising sharply and limited supply, the housing market boom continues to surge forward, placing upward pressure on property prices, with some properties selling for over asking.

According to Chestertons’ latest market analysis, the housing market in the capital witnessed a 19.4% decrease in the number of sellers willing to drop their asking prices.

The uplift in sellers’ confidence echoes Halifax’s latest House Price Index for May, which revealed that the average property price in London is now 3.1% higher year-on-year.

Cory Askew, head of sales at Chestertons, said: “As our nation is slowly coming out of lockdown, buyer confidence is growing. As a result of the sustained high demand from house hunters, buyers now find themselves in a sellers’ market.

“Even if the easing of current lockdown restrictions is postponed, we believe the property market will remain buoyant as buyers are eager to find a deal before property prices rise further.”

What makes May’s market performance stand out is the rare scenario of supply meeting demand, according to Guy Gittins, CEO of Chestertons.

He commented: “Chestertons’ branches had 38% more properties on the market compared to May last year, whilst the cumulative number of buyers entering the market is up 31% year to date.

“Normally, the UK’s housing market demonstrates a clear imbalance between these two indicators with demand often outstripping supply. This has helped to translate demand into actual sales, with Chestertons seeing a 9% increase in sales in May compared to April.

“We have seen exceptional transaction volumes so far in 2021, with three times more buyers than usual. Viewings have been at a five-year high for the past three months. This has led to competitive bidding but with supply meeting demand, large price increases have been kept at bay.

“The phasing out of the stamp duty holiday does not appear to be slowing buyer demand and we anticipate the market will remain buoyant throughout the rest of the summer. Rightmove recently reported on seeing the biggest national sales pipeline in a decade and Chestertons’ own pipeline of sales at various stages of progress rose by 6% in May.”

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