26 October 2021

What has been the impact of COVID-19 on Estate Agents Hudson Moody and the property market in York?

What has been the impact of COVID-19 on Estate Agents Hudson Moody and the property market in York?

Despite the challenges Covid-19 has brought, it hasn’t shaken up the estate agent industry in York as deeply as initially feared. The nature of estate agency has not changed, and the tried and tested practices, we hold dear at Hudson Moody, remain firmly in place.

So, what should estate agents should be considering? There is a certain amount of uncertainty and misinformation in the wake of the pandemic. It is imperative to update clients on the local market in York and consider what guidance they might need. Vendors often need reassurance and help to reach a decision to market their property and face a move: buyers need to understand the intricacies involved with buying a property from making an offer to completion and feel supported throughout the process.

Having closed the doors to footfall, it provided Hudson Moody with the opportunity to re-visit office practices and entice buyers and sellers through different mediums. Hudson Moody has seen a rise in visits to the website and better engagement through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Virtual viewings and videos were great in the short term and a necessary interim measure as buyers were unable to travel or vendors were shielding. Post lockdown, buyers have returned to physical viewings but videos continue to work well for our letting agents as it facilitates bulk viewings.  There has been a marked migration of buyers from the south moving to York and virtual tours and viewings opened the market to them. Out of area buyers have pushed up prices yet, the perception that York is a cheap option is misplaced. This has seen a rush to buy out of town and the villages surrounding York have seen a boom. Areas such as Poppleton and villages around Dunnington have proved particularly popular. York prices have remained firm, but demand has meant many properties have gone to best and final offers. Perhaps prices have now reached a hiatus but there are no signs of values dropping.

The lockdown provided a golden opportunity for Hudson Moody to reinforce to their clients that great communication and great advice makes a difference. With people re-evaluating their home situation after being stuck indoors for longer periods of time has forced York agents to adapt their working practices and employ even more customer focussed measures. There has especially been more value placed on private outdoor space and emphasis has also shifted to the need for ‘home office space’ or ‘ultrafast broadband’. Now, low stock levels are having an impact on would-be movers as potential sellers grapple with the decision of whether they should be moving at all. The market thrives when stock is low: it’s all a question of supply and demand.

The way to survive is to constantly be prepared to refine and adapt, demonstrate knowledge of the local market and show an understanding of national trends and remain customer focussed.