I remember throughout my career having worked in various markets throughout Essex and London as both a mortgage broker, and an estate agent wondering why on earth even a road away a house price can be so dramatically different to another. There are examples of this in nearly every area I have worked in.
Quite often you will have that supreme area which is the holy grail and would attract most people towards it – that place that we all walk or drive past and imagine pulling or walking up the drive to – or for me it is to open my (probably electronic) curtains in the morning to the glorious sunshine and Southend’s Estuary glimmering back at me as I open the door to my balcony to have a coffee and watch the runners, cyclists and families enjoying that space.
How then is it that within no distance at all from these multi million pound properties can there be a flat that can be picked up for probably not much more than the people who own the aforementioned probably earn in a month!
Well this is the beauty of the property market there should be something to suit everyone, and Southend on Sea epitomises that completely…… it certainly keeps me interested!
So what do I mean by winners and losers…..Areas is what I am talking about, simply areas!
We have all had some time to think about what we hit re-start on when our little world returns to some sort of normality and this period has given everyone a chance to re-think their positions – the things that were important to some people pre-lockdown now seem totally insignificant – just the other day I thought I would finally spend the birthday vouchers I received last year for my big 30 ( ok, ok, it may have been a just slightly higher number than that but I’m not telling!) on a new paddle board…. So, I went excitedly onto the website to find that the majority of this firm’s wares had sold out! Clearly popular and it has made our community in Southend appreciate just what they have on the doorstep.
I am not here to just simply plug Southend on Sea, although I seem to be doing a pretty good job of doing so thus far – but more to give an insight into what I believe may happen and essentially I think we will start to see migration – migration to lifestyle and taking life back for ourselves and with this will come demand and market.
A few years ago I was asked by Nationwide Building Society to help them with a project surrounding valuations in our area – a huge amount of our estate agency friends and colleagues were perplexed as to why a certain firm of surveyors were down valuing all of the property in a particular area – it actually got so bad that they refused access to these individuals (this is very uncommon in our world as you can appreciate we need the valuers and surveyors as much as they need us and there is generally a mutual respect).
Once all of the data had been collected and I had discussed with someone of note (perhaps a slightly more senior manager) the depths of issue – the response I received was baffling – the reason they were bringing values down in our area was due to the “migration of people from London inflating prices”.
Errrrrr……. What???? Sorry???? So we as a community have worked hard made our area desirable for people to move to, people then actually do want to move here and because there is more demand than supply the only way to control an increase in prices is to cage them?!?!?!?!?!
It did get resolved and Nationwide actually changed their valuation policy on the back of this project so we did get some parity in the end but it wasn’t easy and I actually lost some business friends over being involved in the whole affair – I’d do it again in a heartbeat, but it was sad to see the ‘Old Boys Club’ rally around to try and maintain that this practice was acceptable when it absolutely is not!
Anyway, back to the point……
Point is this – we choose us – we choose family – we choose friends – we choose a work life balance – we choose life….. (get it??)
Our worlds have changed – they will continue to change – we have managed to keep the wheels of business turning sitting in our lounges, bedrooms, bathrooms, gardens – some even using the lavatory on zoom calls so I hear – no need to commute to a big city perhaps or certainly not every day.
So we are going to see areas like ours become more desirable – I always remember seeing a map of the population of Australia and I guess it is no surprise that the majority of people who live there live right around the edge – maybe just maybe we are going to see something similar…..
If this does happen and people do migrate it will be vital for our industry to keep up – and to make sure that we follow the trends of the ‘market’ and each area will be different – some will go up and some will go down – winners and losers