St Albans agent optimistic about post-lockdown market

The St Albans and Harpenden housing market is open for business once more. Picture: Getty Images/iSt

The St Albans and Harpenden housing market is open for business once more. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

There is no shortage of interest from buyers in the local housing market according to one St Albans agent – but more than a few hours’ notice of its reopening would have been appreciated.

The news that lockdown restrictions would be lifted came last night, with agents, removal firms and conveyancers told that they could resume operations this morning after seven weeks.

Andrew Bradford of Bradford & Howley said: “We were expecting to be able to go back soon but a bit more notice would have been appreciated and would have helped the industry return in a calmer manner.

“I’m certainly not slamming the government, I’m merely pointing out a bit more notice would have been nice.”

Updated government guidelines released today state that agents should have an appointment system for visits to their offices and when conducting viewings.

Where social distancing isn’t possible, they should consider wearing a face covering and they should no longer drive clients to appointments.

Bradford & Howley will be reopening their offices in St Albans, Marshalswick and Harpenden tomorrow with a six-point plan in place to ensure the safety of both clients and colleagues.

“This covers social distancing, our premises and how we conduct viewings and valuations,” Andrew said.

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The guidelines restrict viewings to a maximum of three people (including the agent), encourage staff to work from home where possible to avoid overcrowding and limit the number of customers allowed in their offices at one time.

Following such an unprecedented period, it remains to be seen how the market will now respond – but Andrew is feeling confident.

“Whilst we have been in lockdown we have banked over 130 viewings that now need to be confirmed,” he said. “This shows that the buyers are there.”