Under offers piled up as the lockdown halted prime London’s property market recovery
Nearly a third (30%) more London homes were marked as “under offer” at the end of March compared to the same time a year ago, according to LonRes data mined buy Coutts bank, as deals piled up under the Coronavirus lockdown.
Nearly a third (30.1%) more London homes were marked as “under offer” at the end of March compared to the same time a year ago. The stat encapsulates a remarkable flip-flop in fortunes for the prime property market over the last few months, from burgeoning “Boris bounce” recovery to a complete Coronavirus standstill.
LonRes data mined by Coutts bank tells us that 673 prime properties were “under offer” at the end of Q1; that’s the highest number since Coutts started counting in 2017, as deals piled up under Covid-19 prevention measures.
“This looks like a clear sign confidence had returned to the market at the start of the year, following the general election,” explains Katherine O’Shea of Coutts Real Estate Investment Service. “But it’s also an early indicator that deals were being put on hold after the coronavirus containment measures took hold and the market started to close down.”
Market activity was picking up pace before the lockdown brought transactions to a halt at the end of March: Average prime London prices increased by 1.3% in the quarter (down from 3.1% in Q4 2019), taking the annual change to a relatively substantial +6.6% – with 6.1% of that growth coming the within the last six months, and sales volumes climbed by 4.9%. The average discount between asking price and sale price, meanwhile, diminished to 9% – the lowest percentage ever recorded by Coutts’ index (44% of properties sold for less than asking in Q1).
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