A Christmas Carol


So, as we head towards the turn of a truly unusual year and we peer through the glass darkly at the wreckage of 2020, our thoughts must surely turn to the Druids?

To the Druids? Yes, to the Druids, and to Christmas.

Because, as we desperately scrabble out of the rubble of 2020 and head towards the bright Sunny Uplands of 2021, we will inevitably crash into the roadblock of Christmas.
Previously known as Yule by the druids and then Saturnalia by the Romans (in the Julian calendar the twenty-fifth of December was reckoned to be the winter solstice, the ‘Dies Natalis Solis Invicti’; literally the birthday of the unconquerable sun). What was originally a celebration of the Sun’s Nativity by the Druids and a Pagan Roman Empire, transmogrified into the celebration of the Birth of Baby Jesus by Christian Constantinian Empire – one idol replaced a melange of others, and Yule, or Saturnalia, was replaced by Christ’s Mass).

Because, you see, the Druids and their fellow pagan priests around the globe had a point here. They had shrewd marketing department and with an eye for an opportunity, they realised that the congregation were losing the will to sacrifice as they hit the dark and dingy recesses of the year. They realised that their faithful followers needed a boost in their darkest hours.
Consequently the Druidical marketing guys came up with a cunning plan. They decided to hold a feast with drinking, dancing and snogging in order that they might enliven the pagan hordes whose hearts and minds had wandered off during the Dog Days of Winter. And so we still gather to have a massive smash up, a snog under the mistletoe and drown the winter blues in lashings of mead, though we have thankfully dropped the sacrificial virgins and the orgies (but not in some parts of Wandsworth I hear…)

Vaguely interested reader “I thought this was about the property market in WW?”

It is. Hang on.

Here you go…So, since this last lockdown began, the headline stats would suggest that we have seen a tailing off in activity in the local property market. New buyers and new instructions are indeed markedly down compared to the summer.

But I’m not one for headlines, I like bottom lines. Headlines are for the lazy, inattentive and marketing guys trying to sell papers. Bottom lines tell the true tale. And the bottom line here is that we did the same amount of deals in November as we did in the busiest month of the Summer, July.

How so? Well I see it this way; the national media’s headlines about the resurgent market in the late summer brought a lot of volume to the market – speculative sellers with expensive properties, egged on by equally greedy and foolish agents. For the market, this, combined with King Toddler Trump and Son of Lockdown, was like putting a large soggy duvet on a campfire. The buyers lost interest and went off in a huff. So, sensing this, we had a clear out with some well-chosen words of advice (October saw the most properties withdrawn from the market ever), leaving the serious sellers, with the sensibly priced properties. And the buyers re-engaged, eager to find a home before the Druidical Dramas of Yuletide began. We matched them to homes and sellers with the same Michaelmas motivation, and consequently, November was our second-best month of the year.

And so, as ever, we return to rule No 1 of the Wandsworth Market; whatever else is going on in the world, the families of Wandsworth, just carry on with their lives – marrying, breeding, schooling, separating, and downsizing. And these mean, dear reader, that they need to move home…

But Lo! I see a star on the horizon…and I see following it the Three Wise Men of The Govt Covid Briefing, Bozzozar, Christofar and Sir Patrick (?). And they come bearing gifts, The Key To Unlock Lockdown, The Oxford Vaccine, and The Hope of Herd Immunity.

What can this mean for our dear friend The Wandsworth Market…find out in next month’s exciting instalment of A Christmas Carol…

In the meantime, here’s wishing you a really cool Yule