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House price predictions

What effect will the pandemic have?

When house prices are on the rise, it’s ‘whoopee’ from sellers as they gleefully pat themselves on the back for their sound judgement for buying when they did, in sharp contrast to when there’s a fall, they more often than not enter a state of denial. With the yet to be fully accounted for but surely seriously damaging effects on the economy of the coronavirus pandemic, a fall in house prices is widely predicted. Some say 5%, others 10%, whilst the seriously sceptic reckon on 20%.  With so much uncertainty, how can we know? No need to get out the hankies as yet in the Taunton area – at the time of writing prices appear to be holding firm but storm clouds float on the horizon.

On the subject of house prices, I’ve just dug deep into the filing cabinet to check out some history. Hidden within a plethora of faded newspaper supplements I pulled out a wrinkled copy of the Property Gazette dated October 13 1995 to peruse what had been on the Willey agenda 25 years ago. The recently developed Blackbrook Park was my chosen subject that week and casting my eyes across our advertised houses, the brows above raised sharply.

Readers eyebrows may similarly rise when being reminded of prices then, as opposed to now. In Wimbourne Close we were offering a two bedroom semi detached house for £48,950, that’s not a misprint - £48,950. In Tyne Park it looks now as though we were giving away an ‘exceptional’ three bedroom semi for £57,950 and who would believe that just around the corner in Thames Drive you could have snapped up a ‘super’ four bedroom detached house with a double garage for a bargain base price of £94,950?  Those were the days!

Coming straight back down to planet Earth and mainly for the benefit of would-be buyers, it’s necessary to touch on present viewing arrangements. Estate agency offices are trying to find their feet after the lock down and although we must all follow very strict guidelines, each of us are likely to have our own set of criteria which must be explained to all concerned.

By and large, interior viewings of a property will only be arranged for applicants who have advanced arrangements to buy and when viewing will be required to wear PPE. Less ‘able’ buyers can however pursue their interest by studying floorplans and photographs on website displays, taking ‘drive by’ inspections, and in some cases virtual tours can be helpful.

Whatever the arrangements may be, we are asking our customers to be patient and understanding while we do all we can to satisfy their every need under very strange and often worrying circumstances. Concerns and enquiries will be quickly addressed.

By Chris Willey

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