Agents enjoy weekend of frenzy as market erupts into life

The doors to the prime property market have been flung wide open again.

Millions of pounds worth of deals have been done across London and the home counties since Friday morning but markets were picking up elsewhere.

Friday, May 8, is like to go down in the industry annals as pure gold – and the day that the prime market came out of purgatory.

Many London agents started work at around dawn, when it was becoming clearer by the minute that the Tories were on course for outright victory, and then worked late into the evening.

As mansion tax and non-dom worries evaporated, calls, texts and emails poured in from purchasers and sellers. Some vendors were asking for price increases, and others giving new instructions.

Buyers simply wanted to know where they could sign, and how quickly.

Gary Hersham, managing director of Beauchamp Estates, said: “Friday was bedlam – not that I’m complaining as any agent loves being at the centre of a hurricane of incoming calls from vendors and purchasers.

“My mobile lit up like a Christmas tree from the early hours, vibrated and flashed all day, and didn’t stop until it ran out of juice late on Friday night.

“Beauchamp Estates is still busy finalising the multi-million pound of business activity that started on Friday, most notably a £20m property in the West End which exchanged on Friday.

“This is just one of many transactions which will get finalised over the next few days.

Jake Russell, director at Russell Simpson, said the weekend had been “manic”.

He said: “Russell Simpson completed four deals on Friday worth a combined total of £50m. All four deals were in Chelsea and each one hinged on the election result.”

Peter Wetherell, chief executive of Wetherell in Mayfair, said: “We are currently processing some £29m worth of offers that were made to us on Mayfair property on Friday, which included a £26.5m property and a £2.5m flat.

“I’ve had correspondence last Friday and over the weekend with some 70 clients and other property contacts, and all of them have said that the luxury London market is now back in business.

“I’ve had several clients asking me to prepare launching their properties into the market shortly.

“The next few months will be very exciting for the luxury market in central London.”

Becky Fatemi, managing director of Rokstone, said : “On Friday we had exchanges and offers on property worth a cool £59.7m.

“All of this was done at lightning speed, and I spent the whole of Friday rushing from one meeting with lawyers and investment advisers to another, like a whirling dervish.”

She predicted that the “stampede” will continue this week as buyers “frantically push to get properties exchanged before vendors decide to increase asking prices”.

She believes that as a result of the election, property prices in central London will shoot up 10% between now and the end of the year.

In Surrey, James Wyatt of Barton Wyatt had one word to describe the weekend: “Bouncing!”

He added: “Agents in Surrey are ****-a-hoop.

“However, this new government needs to reverse the daft 12% Stamp Duty – something the coalition did at the behest of the Lib Dems.”

On the south coast, Michael Riley of Capital & Coastal said his firm had seen a jump in applicants after a six to eight week lull. He said: “One of the main catalysts for the speed at which the market has sprung into life over the weekend is the swift result of the election.

“As well as increased inquiries from buyers, we have had three clients who had been holding off putting their properties on the market because of the impact of a possible mansion tax, but who have now gone ahead.”

Other agents reporting an uplift in business over the last three days include Waterfords, with branches in the south east, and Sandfords in Marylebone London.

Brendan Cox of Waterfords, in Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire,  said: “There was a significant uplift in buyer sentiment over the weekend.  We experienced a notable increase in the volume of calls to book both valuations and market appraisals, which is very positive indeed.”

Tim Fairweather, of Sandfords, in Marylebone, London, said: “Inquiry levels increased almost immediately and continued to do so throughout Friday and Saturday with a particular rise noticed in home owners again on the hunt for properties priced over £2m.

“This group of buyers would have been susceptible to Labour’s mansion tax if they had been elected, but now they don’t have to worry about this proposed policy they can just get on with  it.”



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  1. Paul H

    Perhaps a coincidence but we were re instructed on 3 lettings properties on Friday by landlords of properties that tenants had issued notice on within the last few weeks.

    Fridays result was good news for tenants.

  2. EHenderson

    Great weekend for us – plenty coming out of the woodwork…

  3. Eamonn

    Same here.  Saturday was records sales


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