A year in reflection – 2021

Changing guidelines and practices

Looking back over the past year its hard not to look past the obvious effects that COVID has had on the housing sector and the economy has a whole.  Unprecedented steps were taken by the government to enable the housing market to try and navigate through the stormy waters that lay ahead of it at multiple points throughout 2021, including the successful Stamp Duty land tax exemption which many Vendors and purchasers took advantage of before its (untimely, in my opinion) end in June 2021.

Government advice was also given to our sector when it was announced that Estate Agencies were able to work through the pandemic, examples were to wear the obligatory facemasks, open windows, wipe down any surfaces when showing potential purchasers around a property and more importantly make sure that people wishing to view were actually in a position to buy before putting both the agent and viewer/s at risk.  In order to do this Bartrams implemented a system whereby any persons wishing to view a property had to provide a mortgage in principle in order to show they were a ‘genuine purchaser’.  Something which should not be difficult if you are looking at buying a property, after all this gives you a very good indication of what you are likely to afford.  Our Vendors were happy as they knew anybody setting foot into their property were a ‘genuine buyer’ and it helps Bartrams when it came to negotiating offers as we are able to see what the maximum amount a purchaser could borrow and therefore whether the figures being given by an individual actually stack up with what’s on paper.

Given the fact that there has been no let up in the demand for property (particularly amongst the first time buyer demographic), many Vendors have been keen to utilise the above methods when booking in viewers on their property.  With the potential that there is more than one interested buyer per property, people are doing all they can to get ahead of the competition and if this allows current Vendors to approach an agent as a buyer, knowing they can tell them that their selling agent has done all the due diligence with checking their viewers finances etc then there is not much more that can be done until the offers start rolling in.

With the market ending strongly this year and all evidence pointing towards 2022 beginning in the same vein the advice given by Nathan Emerson the CEO of Propertymark is as follows; The pressure on the housing market and consequently house prices, is continuing at an unrelenting rate. However, heading into December, the market should start to slow. Those with a property to sell would be wise to act sooner rather than later as the level of demand is expected to continue into the first quarter of next year but cannot last forever.

 – Dean