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Off-market property sales soar

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Written by: Lana Clements
06/06/2022
Buyers are more willing to pay a premium to secure homes before they hit the market amid a dearth of supply, data revealed.

Almost a quarter of homes in London sold so far in 2022 were quietly marketed, according to estate agent Hamptons.

Overall, one in 10 homes is sold-off market nationally, achieving 99.5 per cent of its asking price.

Homes marketed more widely achieved 99.1% of an initial marketing price.

Secret sales have been growing among non-prime markets, Hamptons said. Traditionally off-market has been the domain of wealthy sellers concerned about privacy, such as those in the most expensive parts of London.

But 59% of off-market sales are now outside the capital.

In the five years running up to the start of the pandemic, the average home sold off-market achieved £1.2m.  However, the growth in off-market among lower-priced properties means this year the average discreetly marketed home changed hands for £858,000.

The increase in off-market sales is a result of a lack of stock with buyers prepared to pay a premium to seal a deal before a home is advertised more widely, including online.

The average home sold outside of the open market took an average of 42 days to find a buyer, compared to 65 days for a similar prime home that didn’t start life off-market.

Typically, homes spend two to four weeks being quietly marketed, before either a buyer is found or it is launched on the open market to reach a wider audience, Hamptons said.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said: “Post-pandemic, selling off-market has increasingly been driven by sellers keen to avoid wider marketing and limiting the number of buyers through their doors.  And this strategy has paid off.  Buyers have been willing to pay a premium to secure their home off-market and prevent sellers from marketing the property openly to other interested parties where competition is rife.

“It is likely that we are reaching peak off-market sales levels. With the number of homes on the market forecast to rise later in the year, buyers are likely to be more cautious about paying a premium in the face of an increasing amount of choice.  If this happens, off-market sales may retreat back into their prime heartlands.”

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