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Property enquiries at '5-year high' despite seasonal slowdown

Property enquiries at '5-year high' despite seasonal slowdown
 Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Enquiry levels in London have reached a five-year high despite the start of the seasonal slowdown, an estate agent has said.

Data released by estate agent Chestertons showed enquiry levels in October were up 40 per cent on last year.

This was despite new enquiries and buyer registrations falling 16 per cent and 17 per cent respectively in October. The number of offers made on properties also fell by 9 per cent compared with September.

Guy Gittins, managing director at Chestertons, said: “We are pleased to see that activity levels are still tracking well above last year’s figures and are at the highest levels for five years.

"The emergence of the second wave of Covid cases didn’t have any significant impact on demand.”

The average house price reached a high of £250,457 in October, according to the Halifax House Price Index, alongside a warning that the market is set to slow in the coming months.

Chestertons also said that buyers remained “motivated” to find and secure a property, with 23 per cent more sales agreed, and 1 per cent more property viewings in October compared with the previous month, which it described as traditionally one of the busiest months for sales in London.

Mr Gittins said: “There was understandably a bit of concern amongst buyers and sellers at the end of October as a second nationwide lockdown became something of an inevitability.

“Interestingly though, people’s main concern was about having their move date delayed and potentially missing the stamp duty holiday deadline, rather than fear about prices dropping substantially, as was the case in the first lockdown in March. 

“Now the race is on to complete the sales of those properties currently under offer, before the end of the year or at least ahead of the stamp duty holiday deadline.”

According to estimates by Legal & General, homebuyers should have already started their property search to avoid missing out on the stamp duty holiday.

chloe.cheung@ft.com

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