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Interview: The property market with Amanda Payne

Amanda Payne, discusses the housing market in its current climate, her advice for buyers and sellers and her predictions for what the market could look like in the future.


What has your experience of the property market been over the last 12 months?


The past 12 months have seen a massive change in the way of working for us all in Conveyancing. Sometimes Conveyancing is thought of as stuffy, old fashioned and slow when actually Fishers responded extremely fast to the lockdown situation and we were able to work from home instantly and that is something I am very proud of. Partial remote working is likely to continue.


Initially at the beginning of the pandemic new enquiries and instructions were down understandably but once the government announced the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday in July 2020 that kick started an extremely busy period for not only Fishers but for everybody involved in the home moving industry and the most busiest time ever that I have seen in my 30 plus years working in conveyancing. It has certainly been an unprecedented year.


How has technology helped you interact with your clients?


We are much more used to online meetings either using Zoom or Teams to be able to remain in close contact with our clients and referrers online. We are also using new technology in terms of on boarding and ID verification and have seen more use of our online quote system and are looking at launching a Conveyancing App in the next month or so. This will help us to keep closely connected with our clients and their transactions and allow us to communicate effectively with not only our clients but all referrers and parties involved in a transaction. Fishers remain keen to embrace the new technology now available to us especially where it can help to speed up an end to end transaction and give our clients the best customer experience.


If people were looking to buy and sell property now what would your advice be?


Because the reduced Stamp Duty Land Tax Holiday ends at the end of September 2021 anybody considering a move within the next three months should look to get their house on the market.  Autumn is a popular time to move so that people are settled before Christmas. House prices seem to continue to rise and buyers are competing for properties as the demand has risen. However at some point, prices could flatten and maybe decrease slightly.


What are your predictions for the next three years within the property market?


The Stamp Duty Holiday and low mortgage rates could seem like a tempting reason to buy a home now but there are some downsides of buying in the current market especially ones so heavily influenced by external factors like the pandemic and temporary tax changes.


I think if anybody is looking to move they need to insure that they do so with the longer term picture in mind as the property may look good now but could be worth much less than what you paid for it when this current top market dies down a bit.       


I think sort after properties in great locations will always attract interest from buyers, especially those with additional garden space, a study or garden office which are proving to be very popular at the minute. It is not easy to predict with any certainty what may happen but if the Government remain strong on retaining a healthy housing market to promote general growth in the economy, we could be in for more busy periods. The Government continue to support our industry with the Help to Buy Scheme but as and when mortgage interest rates start to increase we could see more of a slowdown.


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