An acute shortage of property in prime central London is driving more buyers to exchange on homes within 24 hours even as the top end of the market slows, according to search agent Banda Property.
The boutique firm, which acts on about 50 sales a year, said that buyers were insisting on a 24-hour exchange window on at least 15 per cent of all offers – particularly for £2m to £5m homes, where competition is most intense.
Chief executive Edo Mapelli Mozzi said the practise was almost “unheard of” last year apart from the occasional new build sales, but is now becoming an increasingly common feature of the wider prime central London market.
“Buyers want to secure a property as quickly as possible and eliminate the risk of gazumping, before they start spending significant sums on solicitors fees. The higher the budget, the more at stake, so the faster they need to move,” he told City A.M.
He warned the prime market had nevertheless significantly slowed since changes to stamp duty rules and would remain flat this year.