Historic vaccine boost for London’s housing market

The positive news of a coronavirus vaccine, with Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik and Moderna all reporting good preliminary data from phase three trials, has prompted buyers to rush back into prime central London property, according to Chestertons.

The company says the outcome of the US presidential election and the subsequent jump in the financial markets has also boosted demand.

Chestertons, which has nine offices in prime central London, saw a 469% increase in the number of new buyers registering last week compared to the week before.

Despite November generally being a quiet time of year for new buyers coming into the market, the various stands of good news meant that each of its central offices saw a substantial uplift in potential purchasers keen to move quickly.

Cory Askew, Chestertons’ area director for central London, commented: “A week can make a big difference in the volatile world of Central London property and last week was the biggest shift in activity that we have seen since the end of the first lockdown.

“The world had been waiting for an announcement about a vaccine and when it was made, a lot of savvy buyers jumped straight into action, propelled by the genuine prospect that normalcy beckons again.”

However, he added a note of caution: “We’ve seen false dawns before this year, so we are advising our clients not to get too carried away: the full economic reckoning from Covid-19 has been deferred, not deleted, and with more punitive stamp duty measures due in April, coupled with the unknown consequences of Brexit, the window of opportunity may be a small one and one that closes as quickly as it opened.”

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