Property market adapts to social distancing measures
Guidance around property buying and selling during the COVID-19 outbreak from the Government and relevant industry bodies is changing on a regular basis. Contact an ESPC solicitor estate agent for the most up to date information.
In the last couple of weeks, despite the new restrictions on daily lives, ESPC agents continue to report cases of buyers paying in excess of the Home Report valuation for a house or flat along with many properties going to closing dates. This indicates buyers are keen to secure property purchases despite the COVID-19 outbreak. Find out what ESPC agents are saying about the current market conditions below.
Demand from buyers
Jenna Spence, Operations Director at Neilsons Solicitors and Estate Agents, cited several cases of properties across Edinburgh going to closing dates in the last couple of weeks. She also mentioned they have received multiple offers over the Home Report valuation for properties. In total, Neilsons had ten closing dates for properties last week with 36 offers received.
Tzana Webster, Sales and Marketing Manager at Warners LLP, said they have seen similar cases. This week, ten offers were accepted on their properties, none of which were below Home Report value. A property in Portobello did particularly well, achieving an offer which exceeded Home Report value by over 10%.
Stacey Wilson, Director at VMH Solicitors, also noted cases of properties in the last week continuing to receive significant interest from buyers. One of their properties in Abbeyhill went to a closing date on 25th March and received “more than half a dozen offers and achieved a price in excess of 15% over Home Report valuation”.
Amy Howard, Head of Estate Agency at Deans Properties, said they have also seen many cases of properties sold at or over Home Report valuation in the last week and commented: “We’ve still got enquiries coming in and our team are actively working from home.”
Graham White, Head of East Lothian Operations and Estate Agency at Anderson Strathern, also had a case in the last week that achieved an offer 10% over the asking price. He said: “If both parties enter into sensible talks and agree that the process can be carried on with a flexible date of entry then deals can still be done.”
Michael Maloco, Senior Partner at Fife-based Maloco + Associates, commented that while there had been a decline in market activity over the past week, the firm had set a closing date for a property and had submitted some offers as well.
Ron Hastings, Director at Borders-based Hastings Legal, said: “We have had recent successes with closing dates including a cottage in Ayton on the Berwickshire coast, which attracted multiple offers and a sale well over the Home Report value despite the closing date being set for Tuesday 24th March.”
Homes coming to market
Some sellers are also still looking to get their homes on the market, with all the above firms listing more properties over the last couple of weeks.
Jenna Spence commented: “Sellers seem keen to proceed to market if they have a Home Report, photography and floorplan in place to enable them to do so as they want to take advantage of getting seen.”
Due to surveyors not being able to visit properties, those properties who do not currently have a Home Report won’t be able to come to market in the present circumstances. However, ESPC agents are proactively preparing these properties so that when the current restrictions are lifted they can be brought to market as soon as possible.
How ESPC agents are adapting
And while in person viewings aren’t currently available, many ESPC agents have adapted to this by offering virtual viewings so that buyers can still be “walked through” a property wherever possible. Buyers can also request the Home Report, view the schedule and the images online from the comfort of their own home.
Many agents are also providing free virtual valuations so that those thinking of selling their home can get started on the home selling journey. Deans Properties have had several requests for these in the last week.
Paul Hilton, CEO of ESPC, said: “These are uncertain times and people are still adjusting to the new restrictions on their lives. However, evidence from our agents suggests that there is still an appetite from buyers to secure properties in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas.
“Similarly, sellers that are able to are proceeding to put their property on the market with less competition perhaps helping them to get their property seen by engaged buyers.
“ESPC agents have already adapted to the current circumstances very well. From offering virtual viewings and valuations, to simply providing expert advice over the phone and email, ESPC and our agents are here to help property buyers and sellers through this unprecedented situation.”
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