Covid crisis ‘not comparable’ with the 2008 banking meltdown, says agency CEO

Winkworth boss says sales fall-through rates and house price drops have not been comparable with the period that followed downfall of Lehman Brothers.


The current turbulence in the property market caused by the Coronavirus pandemic is not comparable with the global financial crisis 12 years ago, a leading estate agency boss has said.

Dominic Agace, who is CEO of 100-branch national franchised estate agency Winkworth, says he is not expecting house prices to change dramatically within the company’s core 60-branch London market following the re-start of the housing market.

“During turbulent times such as 2008, we saw significant price reductions and buyers pulling out of transactions but that is not happening now,” he says.

“We continue to see consumer confidence that shows buyers are still optimistic and prices are remaining stable.”

Winkworth says its franchisees saw vendors largely hold their nerve during the lockdown with only 21% withdrawing properties from the market and 19% experiencing price renegotiations. These, on average, saw prices drop by 6.3%.

Pent-up demand

“We have every confidence that years of pent-up demand which our offices are now experiencing and consistently low interest rates should push through a flurry of transactions in the third and fourth quarters this year,” says Agace.

Virtual viewings are playing an increasing role in property selection among its buyers, the company says, but says “a personal touch will always be at the heart of what we do”.

And in a sign that virtual viewings are now gaining traction within the prime market that Winkworth operates within, Lonres has signed a deal with 3D tours platform Matterport to distribute its service among the property data firm’s member agents.

Anthony Payne, Managing Director at LonRes, says: “The partnership is particularly timely as the industry comes up against the issues caused by COVID-19 and the related lockdown and social distancing measures.

“We strive to support our network during this difficult time and believe that bringing Matterport technology onto LonRes is a real opportunity to offset some of the issues we face, speed up sales and help agents to best service their clients.”

Read more about the global financial crisis.







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