Positivity In The Sector Returning
After three months of near stasis, the market has exploded. In fact, we at ASAP have just had our busiest month ever with new instructions. July is on track to deliver likewise.
How much of this is pent up demand remains to be seen but, anecdotally, estate agents are telling us that there is renewed interest in buying and selling properties. Perhaps after spending so many months within the same four walls, people are reassessing their living circumstances. For good or ill, lockdown has certainly tested relationships dividing some households while uniting others. If the whispers of a remote working revolution are to be believed, now people will need space for a home office and as for that perfect commute, it is no longer a must have. The pandemic could well have sparked a new wave of buyers and sellers.
Increasing the Stamp Duty threshold will certainly give the market additional momentum. Around 90% of buyers will now be exempt – previously it was nearer 15%. Let’s hope they grab this nine month window with gusto. Let’s also hope that restrictions on mortgage lending don’t supress demand.
Needless to say, we all have an eye on the economy and in particular the effect of furlough payments ending in October. If there is a surge in unemployment, the likelihood is that the youngest employees will be hit hardest but they aren’t necessarily home buyers yet. However a deeper recession would be tough on us all.
In this climate, one of the greatest challenges will be managing capacity. How long is this upswing going to last and how do you recruit for it? With so many Estate Agents on furlough – and 25-30% still are – our business has multiplied. Being able to outsource their Sales Progression to us has allowed them to manage their pipeline without the fixed cost. As a result, we have not just kept our staff and panel of solicitors busy but are actively recruiting.
We believe that, in these uncertain times, it has never been more important to expedite a house sale. As the pandemic has shown, you never know what is round the corner so make the most of today while planning for tomorrow.