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‘There will not be a housing crash’, predicts industry figure

Former eMoov founder and now Keller Williams franchisee Russell Quirk sticks his reputational neck on the line once again.

Nigel Lewis

Ignore the doom-mongering national media – we won’t see a property price crash, says Russell Quirk who’s taken the market’s temperature and reckons it’s on the road back to health.

Speaking during a podcast with Chris Watkin shown exclusively to The Negotiator, the PR guru and Keller Williams franchisee also advised the industry not to accept the word of property experts – even the Bank of England – as they were often wrong.

“Our market is fundamentally sound,” says Quirk. “If we’ve weathered the storm of Brexit and come through without prices dropping we’ll weather out what will hopefully be a few short months of disruption from Covid-19.”

He points to financial experts such as George Osborne who warned that if we left the EU, the property market would crash and prices would drop by 18% – but prices have since gone up by 8%.

“We’re seeing pent-up demand translating into more enquiries, booked viewings are rocketing. We’ll come out of this OK.”

Quirk says home-owners have the cheapest money this country has ever seen and can fix a five-year mortgage as low as 2%, while there are now “bundles” of mortgage products and lenders have slashed rates in the last few days.

“They anticipate we will come out of it and they want to be the lender of choice,” he explains.

Other positive factors include the fact jobless figures haven’t risen as much as they did in every other recession – by an extra 12,000 in April rather than the ONS forecast of an extra 172,000 unemployed. “The furlough scheme is working to keep people in work and although I suspect the total might rise to 7% or 8%, it will then recover.”

Quirk adds that the losers could be some of the corporate estate agents with their fixed overheads who are most vulnerable to market challenges, while the more agile independents can be more flexible, getting staff to work from home, or doing more lettings than sales when necessary.

Watch the video

May 22, 2020

6 comments

  1. Someone’s been drinking the KW Kool-Aid.

    We’re in for a horrendous year, despite what the press say, or do not say. The winners will be the agents that manage the market, rather than those who try to artificially inflate what isn’t there. Optimism is one thing – delusional, quite another.

  2. I think there will be 618,232 completions in 2020 as recorded by Land Registry as opposed to 1.2M in 2019. 50% drop.

    As typical residential sale cycle 20-weeks; so most of listings secured second week of July or after will not be a completion in 2020.

    True, most agents will have a reduced level of staff in some branches on the 1st of June, but that is only six weeks before the July cut off.

    And the kicker is that on the third week of March, all agents in the UK had stock levels of property at the usual seasonally low level, which without the pandemic would have swelled in size over the next 6-lockdown weeks of the pandemic. Proptech-PR.com

  3. I agree with Fraser and am concerned this could be a “dead cat bounce”.

    The effects of paying for the recovery from a widely predicted deep recession have not been calculated yet, never mind felt. Taxes are going to have to rise, families will face less disposable income and more uncertainty.

    Factor in a possible Brexit “crash out” and there is little doubt there are painful and uncertain economic times ahead.

  4. Now I love a bit of positivity but he should probably get the figures correct here.

    We aren’t even technically speaking in a recession as of yet but we certainly will be come end of June.

    Everyone is furloughed and unemployment skyrocketed in April even with this blessing of a scheme the government put in place.

    A few short months of disruption due to covid-19 – yeh sure property market is bouncing back a little now we are all agreeing sales and have good viewing numbers despite the virus. However the economy dictates the housing market and I can’t see the economy in a good state in 12 months time.

    So yes a little bounce back for now but as unemployment continues to rise, more and more businesses continue to struggle, as even if they can open their costs are increasing due to social distancing and the demand for their services will not be like before.

  5. 100% agree Russell. We have been busy before lockdown and as busy after
    3 sales agreed in 1 week

    1 was even after a bidding war

    Keep spreading the word

  6. Have a lot of respect for your views (well apart from when you tried online agency – doomed from start) at totally agree with you here

    I accept areas can be marginalised and different but we are not experiencing this at all

    We have been active throughout the lock down and getting enquires throughout
    We held back 2-3 instructions and from last thursday been busy with viewings and offers

    We have agreed 3 sales this week alone and 1 of those was a flat only listed last week at £30k under asking (£10k less that “hoped”)

    We laos were in a bidding war already on a house marketed prior lockdown with no views possible till Saturday

    4 views over weekend resulted in 2 offers bidding to within £15k of asking on £1,150,000

    So the simple facts poove the doom mongers are wrong

    All power to you Russell and keep spreading the word !

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