As we all know, 2020 has so far been a strange year. All started normally, then out of nowhere a little- known virus from China upset the apple cart in a major way. Lockdown and movement restrictions followed, having an impact on instructions and inspections for valuations and the production of work. However, as things start coming back to the new kind of normal, it is time both for a little reflection, and a look into the future.
In terms of agriculture, there have been numbers of instructions coming from the south west region of Lancashire, predominately in the horticultural sector. Lockdown wasn’t initially good for these producers but with the supermarkets being some of the only shops open, demand for their own UK produce soared, closely followed by that for bedding plants and flowers. Producers were grateful for the excellent weather during lockdown, which drove demand for salad product.
In general terms, there remains good demand from active farming families wanting to expand production. Slightly uncertain markets within the dairy sector and low farmgate prices for some, predominately within the processing sector, have however led to a slight slow down in larger scale expansion within this sector. Red meat and white meat markets have seen some strengthening within the market place, despite a reduced export market, leading to some valuation instructions to allow for expansion or the construction of new purpose-built poultry buildings, for example.
In the residential sector, initial thoughts regarding the market were pessimistic. However, as also experienced by our agency department, following the stamp duty holiday and a relaxation in movement restrictions, the market gained some serious strength, with demand outstripping supply. This led to high demand for residential mortgage valuations and the more detailed home condition reports. The market continues to see growth, with demand in all price ranges and sectors but in particular in more rural areas. It seems that purchasers are beginning to see rural living, but now with all the connectivity of modern life, as a viable and attractive option.
Sadly, as lockdown restrictions have for many placed additional pressures on family life, there has been something of a surge in matrimonial instructions. Valuations for a variety of taxation purposes were curbed by lockdown restrictions, but these have reconvened with relative ease.
For further information on the range of services we can offer, please contact the valuation department.