September set to be busy for UK property sales and lettings markets, it is claimed

Summer is normally the busiest time of year for relocation agents

Often people assume that the UK property market slows down over summer, but national estate agency Strutt & Parker has found that the weeks leading up to the prime holiday season can be some of the most important in the property calendar.

July is peak time for British holiday makers and those with their houses on the market prefer to tie up a deal before they head off on holiday. Strutt & Parker can report that, despite the record rainfall, exchanges across all national offices are 20% up over last week, indicating that movers are keen to wrap up the deal before they go away.

‘The increase in exchanges this week suggests that people are pushing through deals before they go away. This is not unusual for this time of year with schools recently breaking up and a host of families leaving the UK for their summer holidays,’ said James Mackenzie from Strutt & Parker’s country home department.

Traditionally September is the start of the autumn market and a prime selling time for UK property. But before putting their home on the market sellers must choose an estate agent, and prepare their homes, finances and lives for their next move. Since many families go away in August, July is also a key time for agents to meet home owners and start planning a campaign to bring their property to market.

‘People who are thinking about a move don’t want to worry about all the finer details when they are on holiday. For this reason our office has been busier planning for the autumn market. We’re finding that people like to determine which agent they want to market their home with before they go away, even if they’re not launching until the middle of September,’ said Mackenzie.

Meanwhile, a the lack of short term rental properties, inflated airfares and reports of serious congestion expected in London city during the Games are deterring companies from relocating staff, according to property consultants Cluttons.

This will result in a surge in demand for rental property at the beginning of September, the firm says in its latest London View Report.

The summer is normally the busiest time of year for relocation agents, as the City is busy hiring new graduates, people take advantage of summer holidays to relocate and families take up residence in advance of the start of the school term in September.

People who are relocating will normally be accommodated in short term lets, often serviced accommodation, for a month or so while a more permanent rental is found.

But the report says that this year Olympic visitors have swallowed up the supply of reasonably priced short term lets and serviced accommodation in the city, which has prompted companies to impose a moratorium on relocations this summer.

Cluttons analysis suggests that many new starters in the London employment market are delaying relocation until after the Olympics in order to both avoid the disruption and secure lower costs in the autumn.

‘The appetite for relocating staff to London remains strong but companies have effectively imposed a summer freeze on relocation activity this year as the Olympics wipes out the availability of short term lets and hikes costs,’ said Lynn Hilton, partner for residential lettings at Cluttons.

‘This demand is not going away and come September we expect to see a surge in relocation activity in the central London lettings market as agents battle it out for the best properties. This will coincide with an increase in supply as inflated Olympic let properties trickle back on to the market at regular prices,’ she added.

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