Market Update 28.05.2020


No, this is not about one of London’s (some might say the nation’s) most influential 60s rock bands. It’s about hoses. Hoses and economics.

And Kinks.

So, please bear with me, as we take a brief and simplistic economic detour from the realms of Wandsworth Estate Agency…

A noted behavioural economist once described the economy to me (i.e. in idiot’s/estate agent’s terms) as a pipe with water flowing through it; money and activity flows in one end and out the other producing more of the same which then loops back to feed the supply again.

If we scale this down and apply it to the Wandsworth housing market, and I think that the analogy still works; people have cash and houses (more cash) and they want to push it through the hose of the housing market so that they can have different cash (a new house, a different lifestyle etc) the other end. This then all loops back, generating more water (cash) on the way, to feed the hose again.

All well and good.

However, and it’s a big HOWEVER here; recently the hose has had a big kink in it; Lockdown

Now, we’ve had many kinks in the hose before, taking various guises; elections, financial upheavals, the Brexit Referendum etc, etc. They all restricted the flow, but they didn’t stop it completely.

The kink of Lockdown has completely cut off the flow. As with its imposition, physical property viewings and mortgage valuations ceased. This stopped the market in its tracks. Because, however good your tech, no-one is going to spend £1.5m on a buying house without actually, physically, visiting it. And although banks will lend on “virtual valuations” most want the surveyor to actually visit the property.

On the 13th of May, out of the blue, the government announced that Estate Agents could go back to work, and that they could do VEWINGS and surveyors could go out and survey.

The kink has been removed.

And there has literally been an explosion of activity.

We’ve had an extended and exaggerated case of what we call The Boxing Day Effect (reputedly Rightmove’s busiest day); people cooped up with their lives, their partners and in their homes, and realise that anyone of the above, or indeed all three, need to change…

In the seven working days since we came, back, we have had twice as many buyers register as in the same period last year, we have had 40% more property instructions than the same period last year and we have done the same amount of viewings (including virtual viewings) in that period as in the WHOLE of May 2019. We had three good family houses come on last week that all went under offer at asking price within a couple of days. I have never seen the team so busy.

The hose has truly been de-kinked.