2021 will still be a great time to move, says Norfolk estate agent

'For Sale' sign outside of a terraced house in the UK

Property prices have risen by over 5pc this year, amid difficult circumstances. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Jamie Minors, managing director of estate agency Minors & Brady, reflects on the past year.

Estate agent in office talking to a client

Jamie Minors, managing director of Minors & Brady which has just opened up a new branch in Lowestoft. - Credit: Minors & Brady

Firstly, as I write this last column for 2020, I’d like to wish you all an amazing Christmas with your families and a very merry festive period – I think it’s needed after 2020!

It’s been a turbulent year. We’ve had many stories of ‘house prices to fall’ and instead they have risen over 5pc. We’ve had the dreaded Covid-19 virus, the confusing lockdowns; furlough was a buzz word and so was the ‘R’ rate. We’ve all learnt a lot I’m sure. 

Unfortunately, many have also felt a lot of change and subsequent pain. Hopefully this vaccine will be rolled out and we can all move on and learn from this rollercoaster of a year.

As we see the high street facing huge challenges, with large businesses going into administration, this will create a shockwave of change. 

Areas will become empty, but then become gentrified; more housing will become available as these large commercial units are converted, and I believe parts of the high street will absolutely bounce back if they are willing to change. 

Residential houses drone above aerial view blue sky with park and greenery

Jamie Minors predicts that as areas become emptier, more houses will be created in former commercial units, creating more homes. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

There will be a rise of independent outlets, smaller local businesses that actually give a better, personalised service. If we’re ordering off Amazon because it’s convenient, the high street has to offer an ‘experience’. 

Whether that’s in bringing back a personal touch, remembering shoppers’ first names, creating a local community again or actual value in going into a store in person. 

If I can go into a shop and buy the exact same thing as online, and the shop doesn’t make me smile, make me feel special or give me anything extra, then why would I leave my onesie on the sofa? (Disclaimer: I do not have a onesie). 

Generally speaking, customers are happy to pay a little extra providing they see value in what they are buying.

This same trend is also happening with estate agents. 

Some independents are growing by offering amazing home moving services, giving clients added value, making them feel special and holding their hand throughout their move. The basics of business are simple and this year will teach many of us to evolve, improve and adapt as part of evolution.

Businessman puts wooden blocks with the word Stamp duty and house. Taxes assessed during the transfe

The Stamp Duty holiday is in effect until March 31 - but Jamie Minors has hopes it will be further extended. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

As we head into the festive period, the housing market is still moving at full-pace, with the stamp duty holiday under petition to be extended further past March 31, 2021. I just hope for our clients’ and all other home-movers’ sakes they give serious consideration to extending the period and to allow all these families their stamp-duty-free move as they have planned. 

Whatever happens in 2021, the same rules apply in the housing market: buyers want to buy, sellers want to sell, so providing there is mortgage lending available then we will have an active housing market and it will still be a great time to move.

This column is sponsored by Minors & Brady.

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