Hi I’m Sam from Fine & Country.

I hope you are all keeping safe and well.

Welcome to my market update for May, where we can talk further about the realities of the current ‘market’ .

The property market is of course on ice with almost £82 billion pounds of property transactions tied up awaiting government guidelines to ease so that these buyers can move in to their new homes. I’ve been quite reassured by the level of proactivity from property lawyers and solicitors in the last few weeks to ensure that they keep ‘the wheels turning’ on the legal front. Of course we have no activity from mortgage valuers which will be holding up some sales, as surveyors are at the moment sat awaiting further instructions before they can visit sellers homes.

Watch this video to find out more about the Rugby property market update …

What has been interesting is that prior to lockdown, March saw the highest price growth since 2014 with the Midlands in particular seeing a 2.7% rise in the first quarter of the year, again a testament to the market confidence shown by a large number of buyers, particularly from the south east and London, choosing our regions as a place to live. I’ve been pleased to hear of some positive forecasts that Londoners in particular may now decide that rather than the high density London life they will begin to consider the benefits of living in far more peaceful and open locations.This is why the areas I specialise in, Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, will be more robust to any gloomy economic forecasts than other areas of the country. 

If indeed there is a shock to the economy, the general consensus is that the historically low interest rates will help support property growth in the medium term and as I suggested last month we will inevitably have some pent up demand from the inactivity of the last 5 weeks. 

In truth has there been any activity and how are estate agents innovating in the present climate? 

Most estate agents in my experience are effectively closed for business, but I have to say with all our homes benefiting from professional shot videos, it’s clear that we remain ahead of our competitors. More recently our vendors have been able to host virtual viewings with some tremendous success, with sales reported by my colleagues across the midlands. More innovative is the fact that potential sellers can now get a virtual valuation from Fine & Country, a great way to comply with social distancing measures and something I suspect we will be conducting more of in the coming weeks. 

There does seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel though and as the property market is a cornerstone of the economy it’s essential that Estate Agents start to operate again and I’m sure that in the coming weeks with social distancing rules applied, we will be meeting clients once again and helping existing buyers and sellers with their moves. 

It’s certainly been a testing and unprecedented time, so let’s hope that we can get some sense of normality in the coming weeks.

In the meantime if you would like to contact me for an ingenious virtual valuation I would be delighted to hear from you on the details that are about to follow.

All the best and see you next month.