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Coping with Coronavirus: “Yes, we’re still busy despite the lockdown”

Neil Urch, MD of House Fox Estate Agents in Weston-super-Mare sees a silver lining to the crisis – despite the desperate current state of estate agency.

Neil Urch, MD House Fox Estate Agents


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.

Visit the HouseFox website.

One comment

  1. Neil Urch I think is one of top rising stars in the real estate industry, he is not a client of mine, but time after time he and his business model and obvious great business sense gets a mention.

    He is the genuine real estate agents agent, he has built his agency model around ‘what do the people in the collective business that I run, want and need to earn and how do they best work.’

    It helps that he is a seasoned property professional and is the face of his local community, but he delivers on his promise and I know his marketing turns in exchanges at an all time industry high.

    He also offers clients a transparent fee structure, but most of all he delivers service which is so talked about in the industry but so often followed through. I think an awful of people post pandemic will follow the Neil Urch agency route, and he is a really friendly guy so if you want a chat to see what he does so well give him a call.

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