A week after the government announced that people could start moving home again, figures from Chestertons – one of London’s largest agents – show that buyers, sellers and tenants have been quick to return to the market but all remain understandably cautious about physically viewing properties.
In the seven days following last week’s announcement, Chestertons registered 96% more buyers and brought 94% more properties for sale to the market than the week before.
It also noted a jump in property enquiries, offers and requests for valuations.
Its Lettings department experienced its busiest week since lock-down with tenant activity, which has been creeping back up over the past few weeks, now at near-normal levels.
However, although the market is effectively open, people are still acting cautiously when it comes to physically viewing properties with only around half of new buyers requesting physical viewings and around 70% of tenants using video tours instead of physical viewings before making an offer.
Guy Gittins, Managing Director, commented:
“It is good to see people following government advice and only really viewing properties that they are serious about moving into.
“Most of the viewings we are doing for sales are with people who have done virtual viewings and a lot of research on the property and the area, while many tenants are choosing not to visit properties physically and are happy to make offers off the back of virtual viewings.”
Anyone physically visiting Chestertons’ properties is being asked to adhere to strict guidelines aimed at maintaining social distance, avoiding physical contact and minimising the risk of spreading the virus.
This includes the use of face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and surface wipes.
Occupiers of the properties being viewed are being asked to leave the property while viewings are taking place.
Nationally, Carter Jonas is reporting that sales enquiries in the seven days following the government lifting restrictions on moving house (on the 13th May) were 270% higher than the proceeding week, and 170% higher than the same week in 2019.
Email internet enquiries were up 116%; telephone enquiries up by 72%; and viewing requests up by 40%.