In the week running up to the first May Bank Holiday we’ve been busy exchanging contracts on two properties in London and completing on a third. It took just ten working days to exchange contracts on the house in Barnes having ensured our client was prepared and had the best legal and finance advisors on hand. We even got a mortgage offer AND the local searches back in that time.
In the past year we have bought over £50m worth of properties in London and outside and are currently retained to find £50m more. Supply is tight, competition is cut-throat but it’s possible to do deals AND to get them over the line.
I’m expecting more stock to become available through the early summer as sellers become more confident meeting strangers have had their vaccines and hopefully prices will stabilise even if they don’t actually fall back. We are still missing about 25% of the listings that we would usually expect after Easter. It’s all been made worse by people rushing to beat the intended end of the Stamp Duty holiday. In a normal March about 97,000 homes sell. In March this year there were 180,000 transactions in progress hoping to save the tax!
Prices are up national by 8.5% over the past year but in some places it’s over 10%. It would be good to know if this is the new normal even if it’s more expensive than we had expected.