OUR WORLD IN 2020
Now, of course, the world is a different place. Looking back on my thoughts at the end of 2019 it is hard to believe how much things have changed.
The lockdowns and travel restrictions all now seem like the ‘new normal’, as I write some countries have started to ease the regulations with a view to reinvigorating their economies, and we will how this proceeds over the next few months.
Here in Greece, and particularly in Corfu, we have been lucky, the strict rules imposed early by the government have protected us to a great extent from the spread of the infection, and we are also looking at easing of travel restrictions.
The weather has been kind to us, most of us have gardens or green areas where we can walk, and when the lockdown is relaxed we are all close to beaches.
Economically the situation is hard to visualise. Predictions vary from complete doom and gloom at one end of the scale, and huge demand and active tourism and real estate market at the other end. The reality is probably somewhere in the middle – on the tourism side many people who may not be able to travel in the early part of the summer are postponing their holidays until later in the season, or into 2021 and hotels, villa and apartment owners are encouraging this.
Enquiries for property purchases have been at a high level during the last 2 months, possibly partly due to people being at home, and having the time to dream!
However, most enquiries do seem to come from people seriously considering either a holiday home, or a permanent move, and planning to visit to view as soon as travel regulations are relaxed.
Similarly, price predictions vary immensely from both buyers and vendors – ranging from buyers anticipating massive reductions and vendors anticipating a huge demand!
Again, the reality probably is in the middle zone, some vendors may have economic problems and will, therefore, be keen to sell, others are selling a second or holiday homes and will be prepared to wait for the market to even out. Some buyers will feel less confident about a foreign country purchase, and others will be more determined to follow their dreams.
As usual, the main criteria probably apply – a good property, in a lovely location at a reasonable price will have a good chance of selling at somewhere near the asking price. Buyers and sellers both need to be realistic, and it is our job to ensure that both sides are informed on the current state of the market when they decide on their sale prices and levels of offers.