Comment: Recession news does nothing to dampen Herts housing market

The news that we're now officially in a recession doesn't seem to be deterring many movers in and ar

The news that we're now officially in a recession doesn't seem to be deterring many movers in and around St Albans. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Mixed messages for the local housing market over the last week, with the news that the UK is officially in a recession being countered by continued talk of a property mini boom.

So what does the recession mean for movers? Not a lot at the moment, according to local agents. In fact, Putterills think calling it a mini boom is downplaying what they say should rightly be referred to as a maxi boom.

Managing director Mark Shearing said the company had notched up record levels of sales in their offices across Herts since lockdown restrictions were loosened, and news of a recession doesn’t seem to be deterring buyers so far. “Our phones have been practically ringing off the hook and the numbers of visitors to our website and social media pages have skyrocketed,” he said.

Our Secret Estate Agent agrees that the recession is having no effect on the current “white hot” St Albans market, and it’s a similar story from Rightmove, which has recorded the most sales agreed in a month in over a decade of tracking this data, up by 38 per cent on a year ago.

Another consequence of COVID is the rise of the staycation, meaning many of us are able to prioritise house hunting ahead of lounging about somewhere sunny - thus avoiding the usual summer slowdown. A down side of all this is that even agents don’t seem sure how to value properties in such an ever-changing market, with countless local examples of very similar homes being marketed at wildly different prices.

The Secret Estate Agent calls the current market a “moving target” and says comparable properties that have already sold are now obsolete due to the speed at which market conditions are changing, hence agents’ issues with consistent pricing.

And while many of these properties are under offer within a week, others are hanging around long after their asking prices have been slashed.

So what’s a buyer to do? Well, offer what you think it’s worth and you can’t go wrong, right...?