STAT: One in 10 property sales are now made off-market

New research by London-based estate and letting agent Hamptons has revealed a staggering one in 10 properties across the UK are now being sold off-market.

This figure rises to 24% in prime country markets, which includes rural areas of Oxfordshire as London commuters scramble in search of more space for their budget and a quieter lifestyle away from the city.

Off-market property sales have never been so frequent in Oxfordshire than now.

But what has prompted this, and how can buyers unlock access to exclusive viewings before a ‘behind-closed-doors’ sale takes place. Oxford Property Consulting explores the topic here.

Off-market explained

An off-market property is one that is not advertised as for sale on the open market – you won’t find these homes by searching on Rightmove or Zoopla, for example.

Off-market properties are only accessed by a small number of people, which underlines the significance of Hamptons’ 10% figure.

To access off-market properties, buyers can:

  • Approach the seller directly
  • Rely on word on mouth
  • Use a buying agent

READ MORE: Off-market properties, the ultimate guide

The latest data

According to Hamptons, the average off-market property between March 2015 and March 2020 sold for £1.2m.

Despite house prices increasing by more than 21% since, Hamptons’ research states the average off-market property is now sold for £858,000. It suggests the recent boom in off-market property sales has been driven by lower-priced properties.

With the average off-market property selling in 42 days – compared to 65 days for properties listed on the market – for 99.5% of its asking price, it should come as no surprise that more sellers are turning to this strategy.

At Oxford Property Consulting, approximately 50 per cent of properties purchased by our clients are done so off-market.

You can read Hamptons’ full report by clicking here.

What the data means

As more off-market properties are snapped up within weeks – sometimes days – of becoming available, fewer homes are being advertised more widely on the open market.

It means for serious buyers searching for their dream home, unlocking access to off-market property viewings has never been so important.

Using a buying agent like Oxford Property Consulting not only gives you access to exclusive viewings, but also means you will be taken more seriously by sellers and their representatives.

Ben Procter, Oxford Property Consulting Managing Director, said: “Even ‘good’ buyers are often too late to the party and only find out about a property after a sale has been agreed.

“With established and trustworthy relationships with key estate agents in Oxfordshire, our team of local experts can guarantee you are positioned as qualified, quality and serious buyers, putting you at a significant advantage.”

Why off-market?

Traditionally, properties sold off-market were done so to protect the privacy of sellers’ homes. But a significant rise in demand for properties and space has prompted sellers to change tactics.

Ben added: “Sellers now want to limit the number of potential buyers they engage with – and the best way to do that is sell off-market.

“Buying off-market has its advantages. With less competition, the chances of becoming embroiled in a bidding war are reduced. On the flip side, buying a property before it is placed on the open market can mean you pay a fraction more in exchange for exclusive access.”

Using a buying agent

Unlike estate agents, buying agents act exclusively for the buyer. They source the best properties to fit their clients’ needs.

Buying agents also assist with:

  • Negotiation and bidding strategy to secure the property
  • Documentation and conveyancing assistance
  • Post purchase ‘after care’

If you are considering a move to Oxfordshire or indeed are struggling to find your dream home, our helpful and approachable team would be more than happy to discuss our range of services.

Email or call 01865 553956 today to start your property purchase journey.