Neil Flaherty – Director
Hamwic Estate Agents
As with all estate agencies around the country we re-opened our doors at the start of June, full of optimism of how we would emerge from our COVID-19 lockdown and preparing to work hard to keep our local market buoyant.
We have been delighted to find that this seems to be working very well. Properties are moving at a rate that matches pre-lock down figures. People in the area are very keen to sell and making decisions quickly on getting their houses onto the market. This has been keeping us very busy with 18 being brought to the market since 1st June, and 10 deals being concluded in this period also. This is all in only 18 days!
One of the biggest challenges that we have faced in our area has been the decline in 10 per cent mortgage products being available to first-time buyers. As a business we are lucky that many of our ongoing sales have not been affected by this, however, we are expecting a dip in first -time buyers in the area.
Being so close to the New Forest and the local city of Southampton has always made Totton a popular area for people wanting a blend of city and rural living. This I believe has encouraged many second-and third-time buyers to look at the area, avoiding too much need to depend on first-time buyers.
Hamwic as the number one estate agent within the Totton area are an independent estate agent opening our doors for the first time in 2015. We have been ever present on the high street ever since, specialising in residential sales of all shapes and sizes, from ocean-view penthouses, to luxury New Forest New Builds.
We have just won the 2020 UK enterprise award: Best Residential Estate Agency 2020 – Southampton. Having a combined 50 years’ experience of selling properties in the area means we have become a trusted pillar of the community with many of our new properties being listed sent to us through recommendation. Since our re-opening in June, it seems the bungalow market has skyrocketed with many people keen to sell and buy, currently having nine on the market ourselves… and they do not stay long!
Pictured property: West Wellow, SO51 – Guide Price: £825,000
Roger Wilkinson – Agency Principle
Wilkinson Grant & Co
With a rejuvenated , vibrant and eclectic retail centre, charming historic quayside, the fastest growing city economy in the UK and just a short drive to beaches and moors, the beautiful cathedral city of Exeter looks set to build on its burgeoning reputation as a popular property hotspot.
As the property market picks up again following the coronavirus lockdown, we have seen a massive increase in enquiries from out-of-area buyers looking to rethink their lifestyles.
In recent years, Exeter has become an increasingly popular place for individuals, families and businesses to relocate but we are now seeing that the forced changes of life under lockdown have encouraged even more people to re-evaluate their lives.
The choice for many appears to come down to this – live in or commute to the larger cities, with the associated stresses and crowds? Or, opt for the healthier, safer lifestyle Exeter has to offer? For many, it’s now a ‘no brainer’. Surrounded by open countryside you’re just 20 minutes from beaches and the moors and you can enjoy everything a larger city has to offer.
The case for Exeter
Once house buyers have made the decision to move west, the price differentials add a compelling reason to consider relocating to Exeter and all that it has to offer. For example, Georgian family houses with gardens in St Leonard’s, considered the ‘Chelsea’ of Exeter, range from around £750,000 to £1.75m. The popularity of this elegant district means some of the finest properties in EX2 are now worth in excess of £2.5m, but you can still purchase a roomy three double-bedroom Victorian terrace in the same address for £400,000. And the average price for a home in the city is still only a little over £260,000 – a snip in comparison to inner London.
We are finding in recent times that the decision to move to Exeter is certainly more about lifestyle and home and work balance, but combine this with choice, quality and price of housing stock and you have a compelling case for moving to what many see one of the best places in the UK to live.
Pictured property: St Leonards, Exeter – Guide price £1,350,000
Alyson Lowe – Founder and Managing Director
Alexander Taylor, Scotland
On Monday 29th June and we were once again able to help people buy or sell property. Since reopening the Scottish market has followed the pattern of that seen in England with pent up demand driving activity. Throughout the lockdown period my staff have been on furlough, but I have been running the business and ensuring that we continue to keep our clients informed about what is happening in market.
Over the past month we have seen enquiries increase and have had several people who have been eager to have their properties valued, as well as, buyers who have wanted to view properties. We have been able to assist these clients using virtual tools and walk-through videos and have provided them with advice on getting their property ready for when lockdown was lifted.
There is currently a great amount of properties going to market with everyone eager to get moving. However, once that evens out, I think we will probably have an even keel for a period, perhaps until October when the furlough scheme comes to an end. I predict we could see the activity drop off after the furlough scheme finishes.
In terms of housing prices, we have been very fortune in that for some time very little has sold under the Home Report.
In Scotland we are still running with the Home Report, which provides an instant set of price estimates for a property. Around 98 per cent of properties that are put to market would go over the Home Report figure. Our local surveyors are currently inundated with requests for a Home Report to be carried out, which has resulted in a hefty backlog for lenders. With limited manpower, it could take some time for the surveyors to catch up the number of enquiries they are receiving.
We are no longer working remotely, and our office is open and following health guidelines. While we have seen that not every agent that has opened is following the health procedures, we are dedicated to making sure we are doing it the right way.
Pictured property: Larbert, 10 min from Stirling. Guide – £288,995.