Pattinson April Newsletter - COVID-19 Update
2020 looked like it was going to be a fantastic year for the housing market. We saw a 35% increase in the number of properties selling and a 20% increase in rentals until COVID-19 started to have an impact in mid-March.
We are currently working from home to support our sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants. With social distancing guidelines, we are, of course, seeing a knock-on effect in the volume of transactions. However, the good news is that we still have hundreds of people contacting us every week looking to buy or rent properties.
These are challenging times, but we have been helping the North East to move for over 40 years, and with the technology now available, we can adapt and continue to help our customers.
There will undoubtedly be some changes when things return to 'normal.' People think that there will be a baby boom in 9 months as people have become bored with watching Netflix. There will also, sadly, potentially be an increase in separations. We see this in January every year when couples have spent a long period in the house together over Christmas.
I believe that there will be a change in the way we use our homes and where we live. Open plan living has been popular for the last decade, but we may start to see a reverse of this trend as some families have struggled continually being in the same living space. An increasing trend for home working will require spare rooms/home offices or dining rooms, which can be quiet workspaces.
People may choose to move to be closer to family, as this has made many reassess what is important. I live in Newcastle, but I grew up in Northumberland, and my dad Keith has been advised to stay at home for 12 weeks, which is not easy for someone who is usually active. Fortunately, my brother lives in the next village so can drop off shopping and visit from a distance. I would definitely consider moving to be closer to my family.
Where properties are under offer, our sales progression team is keeping in touch with everyone in the chain. Buyers, sellers and solicitors (who are also working from home) are all informed, to ensure that the sales keep progressing. However, we are working with slightly longer timescales and some restrictions.
We have a team of some of the most experienced estate agents in the North East still working and keeping our landlords and sellers updated. They are helping to put properties on the market using virtual tours and valuations. Carrying out virtual viewings, we have helped to sell and rent properties in the last few weeks, without anyone having to leave home.
Our property management team is also working from home, helping with essential repairs, carrying out referencing, responding to tenant and landlord queries and processing payments.
Our auction team are working hard to sell properties via online auction, with people viewing & bidding from the comfort of their own home.
The safety and wellbeing of our staff and customers is our first and foremost concern. And we will continue to work from home and follow Government advice with regards to social distancing guidelines.
In the meantime, you can continue to contact us on our usual office numbers seven days a week.
Best wishes, and stay safe!