Given the challenges and restrictions of the past 12 months, it’s wouldn’t be surprising to find the property market has suffered, but far from it.
The stamp duty holiday has helped, but even before that was announced and since it’s no longer possible to rush a mortgage through before the deadline, property sales have continued to do well.
Prices have held and even risen, which is good news for property investors and home owners alike.
Virtual viewings existed well before the pandemic stopped us visiting homes, but they could be categorised as a ‘nice to have’, rather than a ‘need to have’. Now that’s changed. Estate agents who don’t offer virtual viewings will get left in their competitors dust.
This technology has much further-reaching effects than just keeping potential buyers and sellers safe from social contact. As an investor you can view properties in another part of the country without leaving home. This ticks lots of boxes:
· No travel needed, saving fuel and ticking the environmental box too
· Allows investors to view properties and purchase knowing exactly what they’re getting
· Investors can view several properties in a much shorter time, giving them a better perspective when it comes to making a choice.
From the seller’s perspective it’s the equivalent of a single viewing – as they don’t have to clean and tidy their home every time someone wants to view it. They just have to make the effort once so their home looks perfect for the video recording and that’s what every viewer sees.
Alongside a virtual viewing it’s also now possible to get comprehensive details on almost any property – value, costs of purchase and maintenance, potential rental income, how long to get your investment back and more in a digital report.
You can run comparisons with other properties and check out the local area. This backs up the visual experience with hard facts making decision making easier, based on facts rather than guesswork or emotional responses. Investing in properties in locations outside your local area has become not just possible, but extends investment potential to build a diverse portfolio.
Technology offers more and more services to the property industry to enhance the process now and in the future. Soon ‘traditional’ estate agents will need to offer the full range of technology to both buyers and sellers to stay competitive.
If the trend for working from home continues, people will be able to move away from living in easy travelling distance of a city centre. With people already moving away from the high cost of living in London, centres like Manchester and Birmingham have already started to see migrating workers heading north.
The working from home experience that employers have had to get to grips with has rapidly expanded the possibilities. Expensive city centre office space can be reduced and subsidised season tickets will cost the company less as people work from home some or all of the time.
Virtual working means that many people will be able to choose to work from anywhere there’s a broadband signal. That may be the wilds of Scotland or a seaside location in Cornwall. This is likely to change the property market over time as a ‘des res’ no longer has to be in commuter territory.
As the saying goes ‘information is power’, so smart investors will leverage the latest PropTech to find the best deals.