Thames Valley: Estate agents confident market will recover

A survey conducted by law firm Blandy & Blandy has shown that estate agents in the region, which have begun to reopen their offices following the Government’s updated guidance, believe that the housing market will recover strongly by early 2021.

Blandy & Blandy, which has offices in Reading and Henley-on-Thames, surveyed 26 estate agents covering the Thames Valley and found that while only 42% of estate agents expected that property prices in the next six months will rise or remain unaffected, with 58% predicting a fall, 71% of estate agents felt that prices would either hold firm or increase in the next 12 months.

Estate agents felt strongly that market activity would remain affected in the short-term, with 78% anticipating a fall in the number of property moves taking place and just 22% forecasting an improved or unchanged position. However, 79% predicted that the number of transactions taking place would increase or return to normal levels within the next 12 months.

Following the Government’s latest guidance which also confirmed that building sites could reopen, with measures in place, 88% of estate agents expected that the number of new build homes coming onto the market in the next 12 months will rise or remain unaffected.

Manisha Bhula, head of Blandy & Blandy’s award-winning residential property team, said: “The Centre for Economics and Business Research recently predicted that nationally property prices could fall by 13% in 2020, as uncertainty and economic factors have an effect on both supply and demand, but other leading research has suggested a far lesser impact. This month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) temporarily suspended its UK house price index due to inactivity and therefore a reduction in market data.”

There are however reasons for “cautious optimism” explained Ms Bhula: “The Thames Valley region remains a fast-growing economic area with a typically buoyant job market. These factors, coupled with fantastic infrastructure and amenities, means that we would expect to see a quicker and stronger recovery here than perhaps in certain other areas of UK.

We are fortunate to enjoy excellent relationships with leading estate agents in the area and we look forward to working close with them to ensure that our mutual clients’ moves happen as smoothly as possible in the months ahead.”