BREAKING NEWS – 5 top stories 05/01/2021
BUSINESS AS USUAL – NOT REALLY
Boris has spoken and Lockdown 3.0 Lite is upon us, according to the government guidelines issued yesterday agents can trade, but last night of the fifty or so call I took from agents, I think over half will be closing their doors and only doing ‘virtual viewings and valuations.’
The kicker if the 50-70% more virulent strain of Covid-19 that now appears to be on the loose. Luckily, I no longer have my own agency, so I do not have to make the decision do I close the branches or not, but if I did – for me locking that door and keeping my team and the public safe would be top of the list.
Lat year around the 1M of completions that typically we get happened, despite Covid-19 and lockdowns. Logic would say that if X amount of business takes place over 52-weeks, and for six weeks we need to protect lives, and the NHS, then maybe profit commerce needs to give way to common sense.
CONNELLS & COUNTRYWIDE
As we reported recently, this is very much not a done deal, as shareholders effectively still hold the power. So it will be interesting to see if Connells are forced to bid more to get more shareholders on board, interesting times.
TENANCIES UNDER PRESSURE
The amount of tenants unable to pay their rent is now becoming a major problem, and the effective lockdown is going to do little to ease the financial position of many tenants in situ. We are reliably informed that much of the legal action is on hold, but it remains to be seen at what point the pressure here will become critical
HOUSING STOCK LEVELS LOW
Reports indicate and we are only really on day two of the year, that good saleable stock is in great demand with multiple proceedable buyers looking to view. This might be the usual early January cat bouncing, where there is a lot of activity after the Christmas lull, but if new inventory to market is hampered by lockdown 3.0 Lite, it is anyone’s guess where house prices will go.
HUNTERS ENDED 2020 ON A HIGH
According to statistics from TwentyCi/EA Hunters were at the end of 2020 in an extremely good position regarding their performance in the residential housing market. They are of course in advanced talks with The Property Franchise Group, and I think even if the deal does not happen 2021, will see some huge mergers and collaborations as Covid-19 and digital efficiencies change the face of real estate for good.
If you have a view – please let us all know by emailing me at [email protected] – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor – moving property and proptech forward.