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A view from...Simon Forman in North Devon

Wed 29 April 2020

A piece from Simon Forman, Manager of Stags Barnstaple, North Devon

Keep Calm and Carry On!

My initial thought for a title to this piece was 'Living with Covid 19' but then I thought better of it because I, thankfully, am not physically affected by this terrible virus. All our sympathies go out to those who are fighting the disease but also those whose lives have been so dramatically and quickly affected otherwise.

Like many other business groups, the property industry has been severely affected and most local estate agencies have closed their doors and where possible staff are working from home and continuing to 'fly the flag'.

Inevitably, some sales are affected because of uncertainty over employment and other ramifications however, these situations may be corrected once the Government give the 'all clear'. Otherwise, most buyers are still wanting to proceed as quickly as the latest guidelines will allow.

Prior to 'lockdown' there were dozens of properties about to enter the Spring market and most of these are on 'hold' until we are all able to travel to view properties. However, that said, the power of technology has enabled us to showcase properties to potential buyers using video conferencing and virtual tours. This allows those looking to move, to dream and plan for the future.

We remain optimistic, when we return to normality, that the demand should be even greater and the volume of business likely to be increased in the latter months of this year as life goes on and property has to sell for many traditional reasons.

As to values, there is plenty of speculation but nobody can really predict the future. However, what we do know is the following;

  • Demand should continue to outstrip supply and we are not building enough new homes as a Nation.
  • Interest rates are historically low and are likely to remain so. Accordingly, borrowing is very affordable.
  • Property prices in most of North Devon continue to be very attractive compared to other parts of the U.K., especially London and the Home Counties.
  • The demand for second homes in our coastal 'hotspots' and within Exmoor etc helps to underpin the local market.

At the end of the day, property values are relative and so, if there is a correction, if you are buying and selling in the same market, it may simply be a case of 'swings and roundabouts'.

I am not one for making predictions but I believe, for the reasons set out, that there should be room for optimism.

In the meantime, until Boris tells us we are safe to return to normal, we will continue to communicate with,  and do the best we can for our clients, old and new.

As Billy Ocean once sang, 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going'!

Finally, we hope you all keep safe and occupied, planning for the future. 

If you are looking to make the move to North Devon, or are indeed looking to sell a property in the area, you can contact Simon Forman on 01271 322833

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