Steady Rise in Off-Market House Sales

New research by up-market property agents Hamptons shows that more and more homes are being sold without ever coming on to the market. Previously such deals were generally confined to high-end vendors, most likely in affluent parts of Central London, who wanted a discreet sale away from the eyes of the general public. However, the recent trend has been for off-market sales to filter down into the mainstream property market.

Hamptons claim that nationally 10% of homes were sold without being advertised on the open market, the highest level since 2015. A record 23% of homes in London have changed hands in this way since the start of this year, up from 20% in 2021. The position in sought-after country markets is even higher at 24% of properties, driven by a lack of available housing stock and the eagerness of buyers to avoid a bidding war.

In the five year period leading up to the pandemic the average cost of a property sold off-market was £1.2m. The filtering down effect means that last year this figure had dropped to £979,000, with the average price so far in 2022 falling even further to £858,000.

The research revealed that this year on average off-market properties achieved 99.5% of their asking price, whereas homes actively placed on the open market received 99.1% of their initial asking price. This has led to increasing numbers of vendors going off-market to take advantage of the reduced housing stock, as well as benefit from the willingness of purchasers to pay a premium to secure their new property. Sought-after up-market properties are also being snapped up more quickly, with the average off-market home taking 42 days to find a buyer. This compares with 65 days needed to sell a similar property marketed in the traditional way.

Hamptons conclude their research by predicting that such off-market sales may be reaching their peak sales levels. With the number of properties coming to the market forecast to rise during the second half of this year buyers will be able to take their time as well as avoid being dragged into a bidding war for their new home. For more information read the report on Hamptons website: Off Market Sales Soar.

Bretherton Law have been serving the people of Hertfordshire for over 50 years. Our team of experienced Property Lawyers will ensure that whether you are buying or selling, the conveyancing process will run smoothly and professionally. We offer a same day response promise as well as fixed fee quotes. Bretherton Law are accredited under the Lexcel legal practice and the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Schemes. Contact us on 01727 869293 or use the contact form.