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Shortage of stock drives property market recovery

Alex Thomson, Director of Winkworth Notting Hill said: "The shortage of stock is largely driven by low interest rates. Many homeowners are still on tracker mortgages and paying a fraction of what they had been used to, providing them with little incentive to sell right now at these lower price levels.

"Even those who have lost their jobs are in no hurry to sell, helped by the lower rates too and the fact that many are sitting on significant redundancy settlements.

"Accidental landlords, a symptom of the property downturn last year, are similarly happy to wait and continue to rent out their properties rather than sell, benefiting from exceptional yields in the meantime if still on trackers."

Some Winkworth offices reported an average of up to 50 viewings necessary to sell a property at the beginning of this year, compared to as low as four viewings in the peak of 2007.

However, most offices reported a significant drop in the number of viewings required to sell a property, down by up to 80%, in the last two months – as stock levels have decreased.

Ian Dickson, Franchisee of Winkworth offices in Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush says: "In January to February this year we had, on average, 50 viewings of a property before a sale.

"Recently, however, the property market has come around full circle and we now have a shortage of stock. A good negotiator
should now be able to sell a correctly priced property in the first ten viewings. Currently, we have a waiting list
of serious buyers."

Ian Fraser, Franchisee of Winkworth Islington said: "Properties are now being sold quickly and nearer to, or even over, the asking price. Sellers are now the ones sitting on the fence, in the hope that the renewed buyer interest will drive prices up."

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