Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, comments on the Estate Agents return to work following lockdown
The announcement that estate and lettings agents can return to work is excellent news for the both the industry and the greater economy with housing related activity making up a substantial contribution to GDP. However, it is imperative that the sector returns to work with clear COVID-19 safe guidelines, taking into consideration the concerns of colleagues and customers.
It is vital that the sector continues to ensure that they act within a responsible and safe manner ensuring that Government health guidelines are adhered to at all times. Most estates agents have the tech tools, processes and services in place to carry out the home buying process virtually through means of video viewings and valuations, and electronic contracts and documentation. Added to this, The Guild’s compliance offer, Paul Offley, has produced a 6-point return to work safely guide for estate and lettings agents to operate within a safe manner.
If we as an industry follow the safety guidelines, I believe that the property sector will play a key part in getting the economy back on its feet again. The housing sector is one of the most important influencers in the economy and will be vital to rebuilding the financial health of the country as we move into the next phase. Allowing estate and lettings agents to get back to back and allowing the pipeline of transactions to go through will have knock-on advantages to several other sectors of the economy.
According to TwentyCI, the UK’s leading data analyst in the transaction housing market, the number of properties in the system that have both a Sale Agreed and have Searches Ordered is 163,000. If the total value of these properties is added together, based on the current or last advertised price, the total property value is over £55 billion. In addition to those 163,000 properties, there are a further 155,000 properties with Sales Agreed that have not yet had Searches Ordered.
The knock-on consumer spend of homemovers is exceptional. On average around four million people within the UK move homes, and excluding the property purchase and transaction costs, these consumers spend £12 billion with the period of expenditure stretching from six months prior to the more to more than a year past the move and beyond.