Mike Cole

To my surprise this is a recognised word – at least by when I searched it.

Sportspeople are familiar with it, particularly in golf where the phrase refers to how a well a player plays the hole after a really bad one. Equally how a football team recover after a loss. It seems that some individuals and teams have a mental fortitude that allows them to quickly erase negativity and ‘bounceback’ with a positive result/hole.

It’s a phrase that may well take on business connotations in the coming weeks and months, and none more so than in the world of property.

Stats for March-May have shown sales levels at an all-time recorded low. I always think this is a pointless statement when at no other time since records began has a scenario existed where you can’t actually transact. So clearly they had to be an all-time low. However, the fact remains that the housing market needs to show a remarkable level of bouncebackability to overcome the freeze that was forced upon it.

And early signs are very encouraging, despite near-daily pronouncements of impending doom, recession and financial meltdown. I can only talk candidly of our own experience, but certainly, most agents who are back open have reported similar green shoots. What remains to be seen is whether this apparent bounceback will hold, or whether it was the benefit of some pent up demand.

Certainly at Imagine we managed to get our house in order very sharply from the announcement we could re-open as we already had a plan in place for whenever we got the nod. Despite the surprise timing of it, we were able to adapt quickly which I guess is a benefit of being a smaller business. So we may well have taken some advantage because not all our competitors were open when we were. And then maybe all those people who were moving out of necessity rather than desire had just been waiting for the lights to come back on and steamed in as soon as they did.

Either way our first couple of weeks back have seen viewing levels, valuation levels and sales agreed levels on a par with pre lockdown already. It’s certainly put a dent in the argument some buyers gave us about making very low offers and seeing this as a buying opportunity to make a quick buck because we have been achieving sensible prices for our vendors.

That’s not to say we are getting carried away. Far from it. There are reasons to be wary, most logically if there is substantial unemployment as furlough schemes are retracted. That will have an impact, I’m sure, depending on the scale of redundancies that may arise.

For now, the housing market is showing an extraordinary bouncebackability that is of huge relief to the millions of people that directly or indirectly make their livelihoods around it. Fingers crossed…