A survey by law firm Blandy & Blandy has shown estate agents in the region, which have begun to reopen, believe the housing market will recover strongly by early 2021.

Blandy & Blandy, which has offices in Reading and Henley, surveyed 26 estate agents across the Thames Valley.

The survey found that while 42 per cent expected property prices to rise or remain unaffected over the next six months with 58 per cent predicting a fall, 71 per cent felt prices would either hold firm or increase within the next 12 months.

Most felt strongly that activity levels will suffer in the short-term, with 78 per cent anticipating a fall in the number of moves while only 22 per cent forecast an improved or unchanged position. However, there was optimism in the slightly longer term with 79 per cent predicting that the number of transactions taking place would increase or return to normal levels within the next 12 months.

Following the Government’s latest guidance which also confirmed that building sites can reopen, with measures in place, 88 per cent of estate agents expected that the number of new build homes coming onto the market in the next 12 months will rise or remain unaffected.

Manisha Bhula, head of Blandy & Blandy’s residential property team, said: “The Centre for Economics and Business Research recently predicted that, nationally, property prices could fall by 13 per cent in 2020 as uncertainty and economic factors have an effect on both supply and demand, but other leading research has suggested a far lesser impact.

“This month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) temporarily suspended its UK house price index due to inactivity and therefore a reduction in market data.”

There are, however, reasons for ‘cautious optimism’ according to Ms Bhula.

She went on: “The Thames Valley region remains a fast-growing economic area with a typically buoyant job market. These factors, coupled with fantastic infrastructure and amenities, means that we would expect to see a quicker and stronger recovery here than, perhaps, in certain other areas of UK.

“We are fortunate to enjoy excellent relationships with leading estate agents in the area and we look forward to working closely with them to ensure that our mutual clients’ moves happen as smoothly as possible in the months ahead.”

For further information or legal advice, visit www.blandy.co.uk.

Image: Manisha Bhula

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