Comment: PPE at the ready, it’s socially distant property viewing time

Agents are coming to property viewings armed with bagsful of gloves and masks. Picture: Getty Images

Agents are coming to property viewings armed with bagsful of gloves and masks. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

So, how’s the local market looking after a couple of weeks of this ‘new normal’?

Reports from estate agents are tentatively positive. One St Albans agent told me that a sale that fell through during lockdown has now found a new buyer – at £20,000 more than the price that had previously been accepted.

And having attended my first socially distant property viewing over the weekend, I can confirm that the market definitely isn’t dead.

I was viewing on behalf of a friend, and was one of 10 parties going through the house over the day.

This is nothing new of course, but it did feel slightly surprising given all the depressing headlines we’ve seen of late regarding the state of the market.

Obviously, loads of viewings doesn’t necessarily equate to loads of offers, and buyers are likely to be more cautious now than ever... but the interest is clearly still there.

People will want and need to move, regardless of what the doom-mongers tell us – myself included.

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We don’t want to live in our underwhelming rental property for any longer than we have to, and though I’d agree that the current wobbly market doesn’t feel like the ideal time to buy, I don’t want to wait a year to see if things look loads better then.

Having battled through the pre-Brexit supply shortage, we’re keen to get cracking.

We feel confident that the amount we’re paying is right, and know that even if prices do dip they’ll be back beyond where they are now by the time we come to sell in 10-plus years.

Anyway, back to the weekend’s PPE-packed viewing. The agent was wearing gloves and keeping a safe social distance – no handshakes, even of the gloved variety.

He also provided the property details in a bag containing gloves and a couple of masks.

Not the kind of goodie bag I’d ever have been interested in a couple of months back, but sadly necessary in the current climate.

No news yet on whether a bidding war has ensued, but in the current very strange market I’d say anything’s possible.