The Secret Estate Agent shares the latest news from the St Albans property market

The Secret Estate Agent has been kept busy by the influx of London buyers looking to move to St Alba

The Secret Estate Agent has been kept busy by the influx of London buyers looking to move to St Albans. 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...

What’s the sales market like in St Albans at the moment? Have things calmed down a bit or is it still mad busy?

In normal times, the last week in August is very quiet for the housing market, as it’s the most popular holiday period. But the quarantine restrictions abroad resulted in a more captive audience and our offices were still very busy, especially with the influx of London buyers looking to move to St Albans. Still mad busy. Shame about the weather.

What do you say to people who think we’re due a massive housing crash?

There may be adjustments as we enter the autumn market, but the resilience of the local market is well-documented and the doom-mongers will always latch onto the crash outlook.

There seems to be a lot going for the market with all-time low interest rates and the stamp duty holiday, and a lot going against it with the threat of redundancies at the end of furlough and a possible second wave of coronavirus.

It’s a polarised market, but mad busy.

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I heard pink bathrooms are making a comeback. Have you seen any evidence of this?

No. I think we have to wait for the resurgence of avocado which I am certain of, but pink and chocolate are consigned to the ‘will shell suits make a comeback?’ category.

What’s the problem with downstairs bathrooms? I’ve got one and think it’s great as it means most guests have no reason to venture upstairs. People viewing my house disagree, however.

My first house/cottage had a downstairs bathroom which made for challenging journeys in the middle of the night, especially at weekends. Sometimes I didn’t even touch the stairs.

Which is your favourite local village and why?

I am a keen cyclist and get to ride through some lovely villages; it’s great to see the resurrection of the village pub on our travels for our route planning. Tewin, Bayford and Woolmer Green are up there quintessentially and the local pubs serve strong cider.

Are we seeing the return of open days? I recently viewed a house and the agent told me there were 14 viewings booked in.

Although not being widely publicised as before, we are seeing a return in some form. Some properties are receiving so many requests that owners prefer viewings to be staggered on one day.

Obviously, they are structured so each viewer has an allotted time and are not open days where viewers just rock up. Over the last few Saturdays we have successfully arranged properties to be showcased in this fashion and these have resulted in sales.

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