Enquiry levels increase

The past week has seen a dramatic increase in enquiry levels with both online and open for inspection numbers up significantly.

There are several factors driving this.

Firstly, the COVID 19 lockdown period has allowed people to realise where they don’t want to be and/or realise where they want to be in the future. We are hearing many stories of people generally wanting more space and to escape the city on either a part time or permanent basis. There are many people who have moved to their holiday properties and have surprised themselves how much they have loved it. For some they are making this a permanent situation.

It’s easy to understand how this has come about from a psychological perspective. We have told to stay away from other people to avoid being infected by a potentially deadly disease. Many have realised that living in a high density city with an increasing population often does not allow this and they want to take action to avoid it in the future.

What is underwriting and allowing the option of seeking space to be considered is the acceptance of remote working and meeting via video link on mediums such as Zoom. This phenomenon is here to stay and will be driven by employers as much as employees.

Employers will use the opportunity to bring down costs of office space by allowing working from home as the norm. I read a report last week of large corporate employers such as accounting firms and banks now asking their employees to book a desk online through an App if they want to come to the office. This allows that desk to be managed and also cleaned between bookings. This is a large step forward from the “bums on seats” mentality of the past.

This has allowed many prospective coastal buyers to consider relocating or justify them buying a beach house that they will use on a semi permanent basis. The idea of a 3-4 weekend on the coast every weekend, with their employers blessing, is an attractive recipe for life for many. It is also psychologically seen as a great option for those who want to a place to escape to should a pandemic event occur again in the future.

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