What a strange time of Coronavirus we are in, and as an estate agent with over 30 years’ experience, I have never known a market like this.
I have worked through the crash of 1987/1988 when interest rates rose to over 15%, and then the economic crash of 2007/2008, so I thought I would be prepared for anything.
But a virus, a lockdown, and not being allowed to do face to face valuations or viewings, this is a new one.
Well amazingly, it has really brought agent and seller closer together, working as a team to get properties on to the market; the seller taking their own photographs and videos, and with the help of House Fox’s professional photographer, getting excellent images. And their homes are then able to be seen by buyers, who are likely to be sat at home.
Has the market stayed busy? Well yes is the answer. During lockdown we have amassed over 50 people wanting to view houses as soon as they can which tells us that confidence remains, despite Coronavirus.
People ask me my thoughts on the market. Will house prices drop, is the first question and my answer is… ‘why should they, we have the lowest interest rates of all time, more buyers than properties, high rents’.
And before Covid-19, in January, February and early March, figures showed it was the busiest start to a year for nearly a decade.
So what if prices were to drop by 3% which some experts predict. For example, I paid £155,000 for a property in 2007, it dropped to £140,000 during the next 18 months, the economy recovered quickly, and it has now been valued at £255,000. I had also paid off around £20,000/£25,000 of the mortgage, rather than giving a landlord £124,000, yes £124,000 in rent (if I paid £800 a month) for those 13 years.