How is the second lockdown affecting the local property market? We asked the Secret Estate Agent...

The local market has quietened down a little since the second lockdown began, according to the Secret Esate Agent.

The local market has quietened down a little since the second lockdown began, according to the Secret Esate Agent. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Let Hertfordshire’s Secret Estate Agent answer your property questions and give an insight into the world of estate agency.

How is the second lockdown affecting the property market in St Albans and Harpenden?

We have certainly seen a reduction in viewing levels and fewer valuation requests. This would be typical for the time of year in normal circumstances without the second lockdown, which is not as severe nor hopefully prolonged as the first one.

We have seen activity at the top end of the marketplace with several recent sales agreed at £1.5m and one at £2m so there is confidence out there.

The hope of a successful vaccination has been a welcome shot in the arm.

Have property prices peaked for now, or can you see them going up even further in the near future?

It may depend on a stamp duty extension which could provide a further spike, but I feel the increases in the last few months are not sustainable.

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We are looking forward to seeing the back of 2020 and hopefully we can look forward to a calm, level playing field housing market.

Realistically, what are the chances of the stamp duty holiday being extended?

I think there is a reasonable chance of an extension as the end of March was proposed before the advent of the second lockdown, which has in effect reset the clock.

Perhaps extending into May would be a stimulus for the New Year market and we can have some 2021 momentum.

Do you ever think about packing it all in and moving to the seaside?

Every minute of every day - but not necessary in this country.

What’s the best sort of investment property to buy in St Albans or Harpenden at the moment?

Low maintenance freehold homes, not necessarily near the station but having outside space perhaps for an office and parking.

In the age of property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, is there any advantage of taking on multiple agencies over a single agency when selling a flat?

I don’t think so - the main agents have a similar database of buyers.

Not all agents are on both Rightmove and Zoopla but most buyers would register on both portals.

Apartments are proving tricky to sell but multi agency is not always the answer, as long as the agent is leaving no stone unturned and the marketing, photos and presentation are of a high standard and alluring.

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