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It has been almost six weeks since the sales and letting markets were re-opened in England after the effective closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic and refreshingly it has been overwhelmingly positive.
In this article our Managing Director, Robert Muat, will give a rundown on how things have gone and potentially what we can expect going forward.
I am delighted to say that by in large we have seen a superb reaction to the social distancing measures that we have introduced. This is both pleasing for our clients, and our team members at Laurels but also for society as whole. When we first re-started appointments, in Mid-May, we were a little wary as to what the reaction to people would be however I am pleased and proud to report that we have seamlessly changed to a new normal.
Going forward and with the continued easing of lockdown measures we believe that it is imperative to continue with the new normal and practice, as best that we can, the social distancing measures which have served us for these first six weeks.
According to various press reports throughout the duration of lockdown house prices in England were due to drop by almost 30%! Thankfully this has proven to be wildly wide of the mark!
Across our hub offices, the areas we cover, and the wide range of properties that we sell, we have seen a consistently positive picture which has been driven by a surge in demand from buyers. Anecdotally we believe that a large swathe of people have used the lockdown period to decide that it is time for the next move!
Interestingly this has meant that instead of the large decline that was predicted, we have in fact seen, on average, neither a decline or an increase. For the time being, as the UK economy re-opens and gets back on it’s feet, we would expect to see more of the same. Obviously there are concerns regarding a second wave, a second lockdown, and how the end of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will affect the unemployment rate however there are also positive considerations such as record low interest rates, superb mortgage deals, and the Bank of England’s predictions that when the economy does bounce back it will do so quickly and to pre-pandemic levels!
As a company and in my professional opinion I would say that as long as everyone does their best to prevent a second wave and adapts to a ‘new-norm’ then house prices will start to slowly rise and then potentially start to climb at pace that we had started to see in January and February this year.
There is no doubt about it that the demand for rental properties is almost exceeding what we were experiencing before the lockdown! After witnessing and listening to the situations of people looking for rental properties we have no doubt that the change in working conditions (more people working from home) is leading people to re-evaluate their needs and in turn this is forcing to seeking a new home!
We have no doubt that this will continue and that it is important news for landlords who have previously rented to students and/or have used services like airbnb. There have been a number of news reports regarding short term rental companies being unable to effectively stop people using their services to conduct unauthorised house-parties and lockdown raves at properties advertised on their websites and apps. Additionally the fact that universities are planning to use remote learning in the 2021 academic year means landlords who have rented to students or on short term rental apps may, and potentially should, consider renting their properties on the long-term rental market. This will hopefully increase the supply which will help people looking to secure a long-term rental!
Since the market has re-started we are proud to have supported every member of our team and we have made zero redundancies nor do we plan to make any! In fact we are proud to have hired four fantastic team members and in the coming weeks/months we will be looking to expand further!
Additionally we are proud to have used the lockdown as an opportunity to evaluate our practices and processes and we have already implemented a raft of new ideas and initiatives which are all designed to improve the service that we provide to our clients and the environment/culture that we provide to our team members!
As Managing Director I am proud to say that I am merely a small cog in a fantastic team and the people we have in our team continue to provide a market leading service and a market changing culture!
Laurels are proud to announce that we have been award Exceptional status by The Best Estate Agent Guide! The Best Agent Guide
How the 2021 UK budget helps you
As many of our fantastic clients, friends, family, and team members know we are always looking to improve as a company and