‘This time shall pass’ and hopefully, in the wake of the unprecedented mobilisation of human effort and ingenuity and substantial resources of nations all and mighty, we shall be able to contain the human and economic costs to mankind.
I’m no Oracle or Sage of Omaha, but reflecting on the turn of events, and debating with many colleagues, associates and thought leaders over the last few days, here are my six predictions for the Prime Property Market of London beyond the next 3 months, in a post corona contagion era that we all fervently hope, shall begin in May or June
- Markets will bounce back by September
People will be back to work in June, and the wheels of the economy will start turning, and though travel will commence, it will remain restricted, for both work and leisure related purposes. It may take up to September for the markets across sectors to bounce back, with the pent-up demand coming out. Prime Property Markets will also see a bounce back then, with international investment and relocation being a dominant factor.
- More Sales Less Rentals
Lowest ever interest rates and easy capital access will drive sales, buoyed further by relocation of investments from stocks and commodities, to real estate. Restricted international travel, business relocation, and weaker consumer sentiment will dampen the rentals volumes.
- Social distancing will be the new normal
The long tail of the virus will take time to eradicate, and the fear of a new pandemic will make ‘contact sparing’ work and business paradigm imperative. The rule of 6 feet separation from strangers is here to stay for a longer term. Vendors will be averse to unqualified and uncertified home visits and agencies will begin seeing ‘walk-ins’ as unsafe and unwelcome.
- High Street offices will be unviable
Electronic or digital meetings and conversations, along with a significant drop in walk-ins will render high street office cost unviable. Health and safety will necessitate that Agency offices become more private places to work from rather than high street shops.
- Agents will have to adopt modern processes
While industrial and financial sectors have continuously modernised in the last decade, the property sector has not; not so much because the tech is not available, but because the market processes have remained unchanged. It takes two to tango, so effective use of modern tech for market operations requires modern processes involving all: colleagues, vendors and applicants. The holy grail of modern tech enablement – to be able to run your entire office from a mobile phone, anytime, anywhere, and be able to achieve more than you would if you were in a physical office the entire time.
- The high ground shall belong to those who harness technology in tune with the times
For example, Agents on Vyomm are already in operation arranging instant remote viewings with vendor participation where needed and running an entire virtual office from home, without missing a beat.
Whichever integrated, or separate discrete tools and tech Agents choose, it must be mobile, and complement the new rules of the game that emerges in the post lock down era of corona times.