The housing market has been moving for three weeks following the Government’s lifting of restrictions and a Shropshire estate agency expert has appeared on national breakfast TV to comment.
Russell Griffin is the Co-Director of leading Shropshire Estate Agency Samuel Wood.
Yesterday, (WEDNESDAY 03) Russell appeared on national news to discuss the current housing market, but also the pull of locations like Shropshire, for people wanting to move out of the city.
Mr Griffin was selected to give his professional opinion on the market by the Chief Executive of the NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) Propertymark board.
The board helps set Government legislation and advises on best practice within the industry and Mr Griffin is an advisor on the board as the Midlands Regional Executive.
The piece was aired on BBC Breakfast, as well as on the evening news.
The story looked at the ‘surprisingly buoyant’ housing market and the reporter claimed that the more rural the location, the more of a “hotspot” it had become as people were now looking to move out of cities as new ways of working from home had taken hold.
Mr Griffin said that demand was high, and Samuel Wood had been “twice as busy” as expected.
“The market has gone crazy,” he said. “There is a pent-up demand and during lockdown we had people registering and queuing to view properties. As soon as the Government announced they were lifting restrictions on the sector and moving house, the phones just didn’t stop ringing.
The story cited Shrewsbury as being a place people now want to move to from cities like London and featured a homebuyer who had moved from a cramped home in the Isle of Dogs, East London, to a bigger property in Shrewsbury.
Mark Hayward, Chief Executive of the NAEA Propertymark Board, said in the news story: “What we can’t predict is what the effect of the impending recession will have on employment and in certain areas that might be quite acute.”
Since reopening following social distancing measures, Samuel Wood, which has offices in Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Craven Arms, Church Stretton and Ludlow serving the whole county, has reported a far higher number of viewing enquiries than normal and a ‘steady flow’ of exchanges and completions.
Mr Griffin said the company had received “fantastic support” from clients during lockdown, many of whom saw their plans to sell, buy or move thwarted and put on hold for many weeks.
Co-Director of the firm, Andrew Cadwallader, said: “Like everyone, we have had to quickly adapt to home working and our sales and lettings advisors and negotiators can still provide this same level of friendly service, even if people don’t want to meet face-to-face.
“We are ramping up our virtual tour capability and finding that currently, people only want to view when they are very serious about buying, which assists the buying process in many ways. We have had positive new sales results in the last week and homes are selling for asking price or very close to.
“It is the view of many in the industry, that if the economy recovery is V-shaped we can be hopeful for only minor turbulence. Most professional commentators agree that house values will hold and a media hype on percentage decreases really should be ignored.
“While the lockdown has thwarted many plans to move, some people have found that post-virus working life promises the chance of more freedom.
“Many people in future will work from home, the need to commute may finally be over – so a move to a rural or coastal location or to be closer to their families will be possible and even preferable.
“No matter what the trend is across the country, throughout this pandemic our area has proved to be resilient and popular and Shropshire is a destination county with so much beautiful countryside and access to Wales and the midlands. Coronavirus has not altered that.”