The UK property market saw the highest number of exchanges since the end of 2019 last week, according to Knight Frank.
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UK exchanges were 69% higher than the five-year average in the week ending 29 August. In London, the rise was 94%, compared to an equivalent increase of 60% outside the capital.
Knight Frank attributed the rise to pent-up demand over the past few years against the backdrop of political uncertainty and tax changes. The eight-week shutdown of the property market magnified this trend and demand has been high since the market re-opened in mid-May, therefore as a result the normal seasonal slowdown over summer hasn’t happened.
The number of exchanges across the UK in the week ending 29 August was the 15th highest on record. Outside of London the number of exchanges for the period was 9th highest on record. Knight Frank records go back 20 years.
“We’ve been seeing competitive bidding and premiums paid on certain properties, and with prospective buyers wary of walking away from deals for fear of missing out, a high proportion of accepted offers are now transacting,” said Edward Rook, head of Knight Frank’s Country Department.
“There are also few signs of the high levels of demand we’ve been experiencing since the market reopened abating,”
James Clarke, head of London sales at Knight Frank, said most deals were being struck within 10% of the asking price if not closer, and competitive bidding had returned, with activity across all price bands.
“People are bored and want to get on with their lives. This pent-up demand is now delivering hard and fast results,” he said.