As we head into the fourth week of lockdown we wanted to provide an update on how we’ve found the market to be and what we’ve learned so far.
When government guidance was released it meant that viewings and new valuations needed to be suspended. Lenders began limiting the products they offered and conveyancing solicitors awaited Law Society guidance, this slowing down the process of searches, contracts exchanging and completions.
Predictions for the housing market contained uncertainty as life for many was placed on hold.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT….
Companies began to discover new ways of working and after 7-10 days the wheels began to turn again, albeit a little slower than usual.
We expected demand to drop and enquiry levels to taper off. HOWEVER…..we were surprised to see that the phone was very much still ringing. Emails and enquiries were still coming in for viewings and vendors were still looking to sell.
Virtual viewings and valuations have been just one of the ways that we have been able to keep some momentum in the market. Speaking to clients using FaceTime and Zoom we have been able to safely provide property tours. This has even led to clients placing offers and vendors securing sales.
During this time solicitors have been responsibly progressing sales and news released this morning has stated that lenders are already making more deals available.
A healthy housing market requires certainty and momentum. Both of which have taken a knock in recent weeks. The one thing that we haven’t seen change is the all important DEMAND. Without demand the market simply grinds to a halt and the most encouraging observation has been that buyers are still out there. Almost with the ‘Pause’ button pushed but very much ready and waiting.
WHAT WE CONTINUE TO DO….
Our commitment to our clients remains the same and we continue to pro-actively promote our properties, in a way that enables buyers to create a shortlist ready for viewing as soon as restrictions are lifted.
We are under no illusion that certain measures relating to social distancing will remain in place and we will go above and beyond to ensure the safety of our clients and staff at all times. With that in mind we have been putting plans in place to conduct viewings safely and we definitely do see a way forward.
A good example is one that an Australian Estate Agent discussed in a webinar that I listened to last week. He explained that “Authorities have allowed viewings to be conducted with only the agent and one party in attendance. They must respect the 2 meter rule at all times. Vendors must not remain in the property. The buyers would need to be in a strong position to purchase and it is down to the estate agent to establish this prior to conducting any appointment”.
We see this as a possible way forward as measures begin to be lifted in the coming weeks. Similarly with sellers looking to list their home For Sale, with the same measures applied this can be achieved.
ENDING ON A POSITIVE….
As the population remains cooped up at home, one thing they all have more of is TIME. To browse, to think, to consider that move. They realise that the house they have really is too big, so why not downsize. Or too small as the siblings constantly argue over sharing a bedroom….NOW is a great time to have your property listed For Sale and we are confident that as we move forward that enquiries will convert through to safely conducted viewings and the all important SALE.
As always if you have any questions or queries we are here to answer them as normal. Our team have adapted brilliantly to working from home and I know that many of you will have already spoken with them.
Thank you as always for your continued support.