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Fri 10 July 2020
We asked Lynn Nixon, Northallerton Branch Manager / Valuer what is happening in the local market since lockdown has begun to ease.
The residential property market reopened on 13th May after weeks of lockdown, albeit with new rules and guidance. How have vendors and buyers reacted?
I’m delighted to say that we are fully open for business; we have published our own guidelines for the viewing of property that add to the Governments initial guidance as safety is still paramount!
As to how vendors and buyers have reacted… we have been extremely busy! Despite the changes to how buyers view property, demand has really accelerated since we reopened, for example, we have seen a 62% increase in offers received for June year on year.
How have you adapted your practices and how have they been received?
The operations of the residential property market were moving towards a more modern and digital approach before COVID-19 hit, however, it has most certainly accelerated this way of marketing, viewing and buying property.
Most importantly, virtual viewings have been very well received. We have been working with vendors to produce virtual tours but have also commissioned Matterport 360 tours. People have had more time to think about what they want, and virtual viewing has filtered out the less motivated buyers and tenants.
How have the mindsets, motivations and behaviours of the general public changed towards buying property?
As mentioned above, people have had a considerable amount of time to revaluate what their priorities are. It is very easy to get excited about the prospect of buying a new property and considerations sometimes come later in the viewing process.
I think that COVID-19 has proved to a lot of people that home and family life is very important. We have definitely seen people looking invest in that, whether it be a bigger garden or a more modern family living space. Across the board, the demand for rural properties has skyrocketed; the ability to work from home has become more apparent, making the need to live in/within proximity of a city less of a requirement.
There have been mixed reports surrounding property prices and activity in the market, what’s happening in your area?
Despite the uncertainty of current economic growth forecasts, in Northallerton and the surrounding areas we are experiencing demand for properties in all price bands. We have agreed numerous sales since our return in May with an average of 97.7% of the asking price being achieved.
In your opinion, what’s next for the market?
What the future holds for the property market overall is uncertain but locally, it is possible that Northallerton and the surrounding areas may be more protected from volatility in prices than say the major cities.
Our demographic is based around a rural community and high employment levels are within the public sector so although job losses will still inevitably occur, it is hoped that there could be less of an impact.
Stricter mortgage lending criteria means that purchasers need to take professional advice as to what they can and cannot now borrow. Deposit requirements are higher however, rates are favourable at the moment, and this is positive news.
To contact Lynn, click here