As the curtain falls on 2021, it is an appropriate time to look at the year in retrospect, to reflect on the real estate market and the factors that have made it a year with a difference. Many of us will be diverting our attention towards Christmas festivities, family time and holidays after what has been in many ways an exceptional year; a year to remember, but not necessarily with positive thoughts! Covid has played a huge part in our daily work and recreational activities and is likely to continue to do so for some time to come.

No one could have predicted that we would have another year where face masks, physical distancing, vaccinations, and boundary restrictions became commonplace, not forgetting the requirement of logging in at any shops or business houses visited. These items and functions have become part-and-parcel of our daily lives and seem destined to be with us and part of our culture for some time to come yet.

Despite the impact of Covid, the real estate market has flourished in 2021. Face to face contact has been minimised but with the use of technology, agencies have adapted their marketing strategies to show properties to advantage on-line and to secure legal and binding contracts through the electronic media. Face to face contact has again been possible under more recent covid rules as have been open home inspections, thereby aiding the communication process between agents and their clients.

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During 2021 we have witnessed price increases no one could have predicted. While homeowners revel in their newfound wealth, first home buyers have suffered in a market that offers them little other than the need for additional savings, a highly competitive market and as we near Christmas, a banking system that is making borrowing more difficult. Whereas a steady supply of mortgage money at favourable interest rates has been poured into the housing market over the last couple of years, that is no longer the situation.

Tommy’s is hearing reports of finance taking longer to secure, a borrower’s financial credentials  being more closely scrutinized and many borrowers  having to look to second tier lenders for their mortgage finance. This is hardly surprising in view of the high mortgage level of many first home buyers, but it is a change of direction by the banks and one that is likely to have an impact on the market in early 2022.

For those who are in the market to buy or sell, Tommy’s will have salespeople available over the holiday period. If you are planning a new year sale now is a good time to acquaint Tommy’s with your plans. Early planning gives Tommy’s the opportunity to offer home sellers a smorgasboard of marketing ideas embracing the out of home, print and digital media. 

The coming year will have its challenges and we need to face them as we have done in the last two years. It will be a testing time for families and friends with divided opinions on vaccination policies and there will still be some physical barriers preventing freedom of movement to some popular holiday locations. There will be numerous small and probably some large businesses that will be forced to close due to loss of business during Covid. We need to support our local businesses where possible, to be tolerant rather than confrontational on Covid issues and to respect the opinions of others and any government implemented health and safety strategies that may be imposed on us.

As a company, Tommy’s would like to thank all those who have bought and sold through us in 2021. We are engaged in a service industry and are hugely dependent on the members of the public who provide us with an opportunity to assist them in achieving their housing goals. We sincerely thank you for your patronage and loyalty. With holidays on the horizon for many, enjoy the break from your day-to-day routine, spend some quality time with your families and hit 2022 running. Christmas is a special time and an opportunity to relax and look ahead. On behalf of Tommy’s management, and our sales and administration teams we thank you again for your patronage and wish you all a happy and merry Christmas.

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