By Laura Sears, Senior Consultant, Property
As of today, estate agents are allowed to reopen and people can – once again – move house. The property market has re-opened.
I’m looking at this from two angles. As part of Newgate’s Property team, I have a professional interest in all things real estate – and at a personal level, I’m hoping to buy my first home this year.
Originally, my plan was to buy this summer, with the aim of completing by my birthday in October. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to plague us both physically and metaphorically, I can feel this dream slipping further away. Or is it?
One of the upsides of not being able to go out and spend money is how quickly I’ve been able to build up additional savings. I’ve also had more time to research areas of London I know of but haven’t visited before. I’ve got a much clearer picture of what I want to buy, what I can afford to buy (which are two very different things), and where I want to live.
While I hope that my professional knowledge might give me a “secret insight”, a leg up over my competitors, in the last four weeks advance bookings for property viewings have risen by 182%. That’s a lot of competition for a market which only just opened again today. Virtual viewings and videos tours have seen a dramatic rise in popularity with some people even making offers on homes only seen through a screen. My clients are utilizing them, agents with whom I am liaising personally have sent me them – it’s interesting seeing them in action.
With a lot of things still so uncertain, it’s still not looking likely I’ll be able to buy as soon as I hoped, but armed with a larger deposit and more knowledge in this new property cycle, I’m optimistic that my birthday champagne could still be sipped in a new home after all.