Estate agents kept busy by "South East exodus"
By Rob Freeman | 4th December 2020
Changes sparked by the coronavirus pandemic have created an "exodus" from the South East to Gloucestershire, according to the managing director of a county estate agents.
Phillip Bishop said Perry Bishop and Chambers, which has offices in Cheltenham and Stroud, told Punchline-Gloucester-com's Friday Business Briefing the agency had seen a sharp rise in people looking to relocate since reopening after the first lockdown in May.
He said: "We were blown away by the appetite to move house and something we didn't see coming was a South East exodus.
"We would sell five to 10 per cent of our properties in Gloucestershire to a South East buyer and that's about 30-40 per cent now.
"People are saying they want to get out of London, that cheek by jowl living is a bit difficult."
Changes in where and how people can walk accelerated by the pandemic has helped create the demand for relocations and Mr Bishop said the rush for new homes after lockdown caught everybody by surprise.
"The first half of the year was awful," he said. "Nothing could happen and it was all looking a bit bleak, we were restructuring and resizing the business.
"We completely underestimated the pent-up demand.
"We've been incredibly fortunate to keep trading during the second lockdown. I don't think we needed a Stamp Duty holiday but my goodness it has accelerated the market."
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