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Property market remains strong, say estate agents

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JERSEY’S estate agents say the market has remained strong during the coronavirus pandemic and business is quickly returning to pre-lockdown levels.

Estate Agent John Crespel, Director of Crespel Properties Picture: JON GUEGAN. (28344488)

According to analysis by property firm Zoopla, in the UK, around 90% of all transactions – around 373,000 – were thrown into doubt when the country was placed into lockdown.

However, locally, the Royal Court has continued to complete sales, and estate agents say interest from buyers has remained buoyant.

And, since Monday, estate agencies have been able to carry out property viewings – subject to guidelines.

John Crespel, of Crespel Properties, said that day-to-day business was quickly returning to pre-lockdown levels, the market remained strong and interest rates remained low.

‘During the lockdown the court kept running, the lawyers kept beavering away but we did hit a point when that was starting to slow down because of the natural cycle from securing a property to buying it is about six weeks.

‘But we came back to work on Monday and we have been able to continue alongside the government guidelines and a lot of people are still looking to move and sell,’ he said.

‘The likely quiet period for completions will be in three or four weeks from now but we are already agreeing on sales that are likely to go through in five or six weeks’ time.

‘So, the demand is pretty consistent and the downturn in demand, if it is even noticeable, will likely be very short.’

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Margaret Thompson, chief executive of Thompson Estates, said interest had remained strong and they had now implemented procedures to enable them to carry out viewings.

‘There will be disclosure forms that people viewing the property will have to sign to make sure they are fit and healthy. We will be wearing gloves and masks, there has to be social-distancing and there will only be two people allowed inside the property – which the owner must vacate – at one time,’ she said.

‘We have been busier than ever working from home and dealing with inquiries. We have actually had a few properties go under offer during the lockdown.

‘All in all it has been busy – not lots of sales but we have had sales from people who have previously viewed. It has also been good for inquiries as people have been at home and have been bored and said, “Let’s see what is on the market”,’ she added.

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Roger Tower, Broadlands Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (28345402)

Roger Trower, chief executive of Broadlands Estates, also reported a similarly optimistic picture and said he expected property prices to remain stable.

‘We have all been affected badly but our industry is one that has learnt how to work remotely. As soon as we were stopped from going into properties, that slowed things down but, thank goodness, we are back,’ he said.

‘The lawyers are working, the court is open and removal companies are working again and we are back to where we were before.’

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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