Estate Agent Reports Strongest Start To A Year Despite 21% Drop In New Instructions..

Chestertons said it has enjoyed its strongest start to any year since the previous peak of the market in 2014 in terms of revenue and profitability.

Meanwhile Winkworth said that following events at the end of March delaying a Brexit decision, it had received a huge surge in interest from buyers. It said 26,8% more applicants had registered since March 26 – but there had been only a 1% rise in new instructions.

Chestertons’ first-quarter performance backs up its managing director Guy Gittins’ claims that the market in London is close to bottoming out.

In the first three months of 2019, Chestertons’ lettings division increased its revenue by 17% compared to the same period in 2018.

Its sales division reported a modest increase of 3%, although the number of new properties coming to the market dropped 21%.

Compared to the first three months of last year, Chestertons’ sales department registered 36% more buyers, conducted 13% more viewings and achieved 12% more exchanges.

In lettings, there have been 23% more tenants registered and 17% more offers made, both of which have resulted in 5% more new tenancies agreed.

Gittins said: “For a while now, there has been a misconception that the London property market has ground to a halt due to Brexit paranoia.

“While it is true that sales volumes have fallen since their peak, we have seen a sharp increase in buyer numbers and buyer activity, which started at the end of last year.

“With Brexit seemingly still some time away, the pent-up demand from these buyers has started to be released and turn into sales activity.

“We have seen a similar mindset in tenants who have noticed the sharp drop in the number of available properties coming on to the rental market and are acting quickly and decisively to secure a property.”

He added: “Our focus on utilising new technology to improve internal processes and making our back office functions more efficient has started to really pay dividends and we are now actively looking for suitable acquisitions, especially lettings businesses.”

Property Industry Eye Contributed to this article