With all of the challenges imposed on our society by the health emergency created by Covid-19, people, communities, and business have become adaptive, flexible, and innovative. On March 16, Sherry FitzGerald decided to close all its owned branch offices to comply with regulations and to protect the health and wellbeing of clients and staff. The company adapted by immediately moving to expanding virtual offerings with virtual viewings, virtual valuations, market appraisals, and expand its online bidding processes.
"Further restrictions have closed down all physical interactions in our business, however our web traffic is up 50 per cent when compared with the same week in 2019," said Tony Kavanagh, director of Sherry FitzGerald Galway. "Sherry FitzGerald Galway have in a 10-day period from March 18 agreed six sales of properties ranging in value from €150,000 to €730,000 to purchasers who have found a home that fulfills their needs and requirements.
"Buying a home is a long-term commitment, it primarily provides for functional needs to provide shelter, place to rest, safety, and is an asset that people can leave within family structures. Values tend to rise over an extended period, yes in times of extreme uncertainty, confidence and values can fall, but generally they bounce back quickly as buying a home is more than just the monetary investment. But for those who buy property for investment they often prefer to buy in times of uncertainty, they have confidence at least they have a physical asset that can produce an income [rent] and can be geared up with finance, in short it is considered a secure asset class for investors in uncertain times.
"The Irish economy has performed well in the last five years, being the strongest growing economy in the European Union, and so far our lenders appear to be handling the Covid-19 health crisis in a practical and efficient manner," he continued. "Ireland since the financial crisis has had a problem in housing where demand was far greater than supply, and once we get through the current emergency it is likely demand will quickly re-engage in the property market.
"Residential property sales continue to be agreed, contracts signed, and sales closed in the eye of this crisis, which is encouraging and welcome. The market continues to function albeit at a reduced level for now."
For more information contact Sherry FitzGerald, One Galway Central, Forster Street, Galway, 091 569 123, or email [email protected].