A deserted central London had an unexpected boost to viewing figures for the capital’s prime homes, according to County Homesearch Company’s London branch, as homebuyers took advantage of emptier roads and a less crowded public transport system.
According to a research report from Experian, the number of people going to stores on Friday ahead of the opening ceremony was 10.4% lower than a year ago* and heralded a quiet two weeks in London.
Jonathan Haward, Chairman of County Homesearch Company comments:
“Many people feared that the Olympics would bring chaos to the capital and had put their property searches on hold until early September. However, with fewer cars on the roads and quieter trains, homebuyers changed tactics and made the most of the much reported calmer conditions, with the result that viewings for properties in prime central London increased by 25 per cent. While there are fewer properties on the market, those selling are still keen to tie up a deal before the end of the summer so savvy buyers may reap more than one benefit from the Olympic lull.”
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Brian Murphy, head of lending at leading broker Mortgage Advice Bureau, said:
“After a strong performance in May, June was a slower month for the mortgage market. However, our data shows the rollercoaster ride continued in July, with house purchase activity bouncing back and purchase activity up 13% on June.
“We saw something of a price war among lenders in July, with HSBC leading the way back below the psychologically important 3% on five-year fixed rates. They’ve now been followed by others and average rates are coming down in the 90% LTV sector too which will help boost first-time buyer numbers in the coming months.”