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Pic Credit: Knights Estate Agents

The last few months have been a difficult time for all industries, and the housing market has been no exception.

Knights Estate Agents has been open on Barry’s High Street for more
than 25 years, and Managing Director Carey Jones says he’s never
seen anything have an impact like the coronavirus pandemic, “It has
been an unprecedented time” he says. “As lockdown measures were
introduced in March we at Knights were forced close our doors, not
knowing when they would reopen. But shutting the office didn’t
mean shutting down completely, as some members of staff were able
work from home, providing support for landlords and tenants, and
allowing house sales to complete”.

Carey, like so many other business owners, is grateful for modern
technology, which allowed aspects of the business to keep going
despite the restrictions, but government rules meant viewings and
valuations were suspended and no one was allowed to move house.
However in the last few weeks restrictions have started to ease and
on 22nd June Knights Estate Agents was able to open its offices again.
“It has been a worrying time for estate agents, but here at Knights the
signs have been positive since we reopened. Our sales, rental and
commercial teams have all been busy with enquiries from people
who are looking to move, and that’s not just good news for us, but
also for local mortgage brokers, removals companies and solicitors
too” says Carey.

It’s thought one of the reasons the housing market seems to be
bouncing back is that people have spent a long time at home and now
many are ready for a change. Virtual viewings and website listings
have also allowed people to look at available properties from a
distance, and the Welsh Government has announced changes to the
land transaction tax making more homes exempt from the fee.
But getting back to business doesn’t come without its challenges, and
companies are having to adapt to a ‘new normal’.

“We have made several changes to our working practices at Knights
Estate Agents” says Carey. “Screens have been installed at every desk
to protect clients and staff, and we have a range of cleaning products,
including hand gel, antibacterial wipes and sprays, which are
available for everyone to use. In addition, we are limiting the number
of people coming in at any one time and all viewings and valuations
are being carried out in line with government Covid-19 regulations.
We are also offering digital valuations and viewings for those who
want them.”

It’s hoped the green shoots of recovery will seen so far will continue
for the housing market, so that companies like Knights will have a
bright future in our local communities.