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House Market Comment and Covid-19

22/03/2020

After a week of extraordinary events, full of contrasts and extremes, this news item provides insight into the impact of Covid-19, at a time when house sellers, landlords, buyers and tenants alike are naturally concerned. Chairman and Managing Director John Holden, provides a shop floor snapshot of recent events and details about forward planning for the months ahead.

Today's Insight – Tomorrows Plans

These times are undoubtedly a time of extraordinary contrasts and extremes, where decisions made one day are buffeted by the events of a new day.

A time where yesterday’s commitments are questioned and where planning for the future is sometimes about considering a worse case scenario.

But the extraordinary thing about the last few days and weeks, is that whilst as a business leader I have to prepare for my worse case business planning, I wake up every morning to a still busy day ahead on all fronts creating property transactions on lettings and property sales.

This last week’s trading typifies the juxtaposition between planning for the worse, but still experience the best in terms of trading for now. In just the last few days we have seen properties exchange contracts, we have arranged new homes sales on properties from around £360,000 in Bagshot through to multiple deals in the £2m. to £5m. country house sector, conducted viewing in the £4m. to £5m. sector, watched many existing sales in progress to exchange of contracts, and we have seen many new lettings being agreed in preparation for a move in next week, and finally we had a diary full of property viewings for this Saturday. Extraordinary activity in the circumstances.

House sales and lettings McCarthy Holden Estate Agents
Activity across all property sectors remained high last week

Timing A Move

We think that some house buyers and sellers will simply elect to have a delayed completion when the moment of exchanging contracts arrives in the coming weeks, this way both parties secure and achieve their moving objectives but only delay the actual move in day.

Home Working

Things will undoubtedly slow down a little and very soon our staff will be working from home, where we can continue with new house sales, transaction chasing and management and valuations with the benefit of technology using Zoom for example. Phone call and emails will be diverted to our personnel working from home very soon.

Minimising Risk When Showing A House

We are aware that vendors and landlords are worried about even the smallest risk of virus transmission, so when we meet buyers or tenants to show them around a client’s property we will be giving them / asking them to wear latex gloves so that things like door knobs, stairs and kitchen equipment are not touched with bare hands.

Whilst we are, as always, delighted to see people, we ask them not to be offended that we won’t be shaking hands and will be keeping a safe distance. In some cases we may not be able to offer drinks or refreshments as we would normally, but instead we will offer you hand sanitiser and facilities to wash your hands during your time together.

Our public announcement about our operational approach to work was distributed to the public recently and is available at this link

Please do subscribe to our newsletter which will be distributed up to twice a week by email (subscription is free and you will find informative content about property, finance and general lifestyle features). There is a pop up sign up on our home page.

It seems that despite Covid-19, the will and sheer determination of people to lead as normal a life as possible is a winning formula for overcoming life’s extraordinary events.

We are available to help our customers and the local community, so do please contact you local branch by phone or email at any time. Business is operating as usual in every respect and we remain committed to the well-being of our staff and customers at this difficult time.

John Holden

Chairman and Managing Director – McCarthy Holden

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