When is the housing market going to crash? We asked the Secret Estate Agent

The Secret Estate Agent has the St Albans and Harpenden housing market's covered. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Secret Estate Agent has the St Albans and Harpenden housing market's covered. 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.

Has COVID really ‘blown the lid off the market’, or is that just the Daily Express getting carried away?

The Daily Express can be prone to exaggeration, but contextually they are not far off the mark as the lid has been blown off and is still being kicked down the street.

What are your latest thoughts on when/if the market is going to crash?

We have seen a slowdown in instructions for November, but have seen the very high level of sales being sustained and even exceeded from October.

I do hope we have a soft landing in the New Year, as a housing crash will undoubtedly be the front-page headline for the Daily Express - one they’ve already prepared.

We have seen some mortgage lenders being a little more lenient with lower deposit products and easing their criteria, which is a good sign.

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Have things started to quieten down now completion by March 31 is looking that bit less likely? Are estate agents planning on taking April off?

There is still talk of it being extended and spring is traditionally the busiest time of year for agents, so forever the optimist. No holidays booked, but I could do with one. The furthest I’ve ventured this year is sunny Leeds to drop off my son to university.

The average house price in St Albans stood at £582,969 in November according to Zoopla - a rise of 3.85 per cent since August and 2.3 per cent on 12 months ago, which shows the recent spike and the state of the market in the latter half of 2019.

We’re in the process of buying a house and the searches show it’s in a position of high risk for surface water flooding. The owner says they’ve never experienced a flood in the 30-plus years they’ve been there and have never claimed. Have you had any experience of this?

I have come across a few anomalies on this, so do check with your solicitor and the agent as it can be overstated and inaccurate when there has been no history of flooding in the location.

You could also check the history of properties sold in close proximity to ensure there is no trend, and contact an insurance company to get a building insurance quote and see if the postcode is flagged.

What are the lowest and highest rates you’ve ever offered a client?

The lowest was for a senior colleague and I am still waiting for the case of wine.

The highest was eye watering and based on a performance-related scale; we managed to secure an offer over asking price so everyone was a winner. That one deal single-handedly contributed to hitting our monthly sales target. Cigar.

Do you have a question for the Secret Estate Agent? Email jane.howdle@archant.co.uk or get in touch via our Facebook or Twitter pages.