As we gradually emerge from lockdown the first question clients are asking us is how will the coronavirus influence property prices? This is something that is hard to answer with any absolute accuracy at this early stage.
However the question is a crucial one.
Much will depend on the shape of the bounce back.
If it is V-shaped we can be hopeful for only minor turbulence.
However if there is a long tail then recovery prices in specific sectors could be affected.
While the lockdown has thwarted many plans to move, some people have found that post-virus working life promises the chance of more freedom.
Many people in future will work from home – the need to commute finally will be over - so a move to a rural or coastal location or to be closer to their families will be possible and even preferable.
Many of these buyers will also be looking for properties with work-from-home space; others will want multi-generation family options.
So we see a great deal of cancelling-out between sectors; which brings us back to price.
In this nothing has changed.
The first thing an estate agent learns is that whatever the price quoted on a property, it will in the end find its correct level.
A property is worth what someone will pay for it.
An invisible hand called the market is not affecting property prices; people are affecting them.
We have sold properties on Christmas Eve.
We have sold properties at the very depths of the great recession and in all parts of several boom-and-bust cycles.
And even now through the Covid19 pandemic we have seen sales through to completion.
No matter what the trend is across the country, throughout this pandemic our area has proved to be resilient and popular.
Coronavirus has not altered that.
So what about prices? In the property sector realism will move us out of this crisis.
With a realistic price, a pragmatic attitude to negotiation and a sensible buyer coronavirus will be unable to infect our market.
Realism is our vaccine.
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