Stranger things have happened.


Our look at the property market, past, present and future.

There are not many people who will remember the day in 1947 when elephants from Bertram Mills’ Circus caused so much havoc at The Sun Inn, Reading that it had to be knocked down.  Maybe they felt that there wasn’t enough space for their rampage, a sentiment felt by many over the recent months of lockdowns and restrictions. Despite how crazy the pandemic has been, our local history has shown us that stranger things have happened. At the start of every year, you may reflect on what has been and also wonder what is yet to come.  In this article, our team at Village Properties take a look at the property market, past, present and future.

Feel the need, the need for space

Described by The Guardian as a ‘race for space’, 2020 was the year where space became a priority for those looking to move home. There is nothing like being kept indoors, as we are now, to make you realise how blessed or frustrated you are with your home.  As families, we are expected to balance home schooling with working from home, in properties that we purchased without any of these needs in mind.  This is why last year saw searches on Rightmove property listings for ’office’, ‘workspace’ and ‘working from home’ increase by a whopping 326%.

Working from home isn’t easy with all the distractions life has on offer, especially if you have little ones also needing your attention.  There is nothing better for productivity than having a separate space in or attached to your home where you can work freely, and also walk away from and leave behind at the end of the day.  Covid has completely changed how many businesses view remote working, and so the need for a daily commute has diminished, yet a private place to work at home is very much in demand.  This year has seen this trend continue, as the buyers we have been speaking to who are looking for a home in Tilehurst have ‘office space’ as a must on their wish lists.

What happened to property prices in 2020?

If you were keeping an eye on the property market last year, you will know that it was a very active one.  We are sure that throughout Tilehurst you saw For Sale boards going up and down, and new neighbours being welcomed as others said goodbye.  Although we have had to completely change the way we operate, putting yours and our team’s safety at the heart of everything we do, we feel incredibly lucky that we have still been able to operate and help you move home.

“2020 has been a rollercoaster year, with the pandemic unlocking a sizable amount of latent demand for housing that has pushed prices higher and led to a 26% increase in the value of homes sold over the year,” said Richard Donnell, Research and Insight Director at Zoopla.  Nationally, the demand for housing during 2020 was 40% higher than in 2019, great news for the South East where total value of homes sold in 2020 was up 37%.

But what about house prices?

According to Rightmove’s December house price index, nationally house prices increased by 6.6%, with the South East seeing an annual change of 5.5%. Going forth into 2021, Rightmove predicts that the national average house price growth will continue to rise, by around a robust 4%. This time of the year is always vibrant, and it continues to be so, as we expected at Village Properties.  Yet the uncertainty of what this year will bring, especially with the social and economic challenges many within our community are facing, makes predictions incredibly difficult. We do believe that, as the national and regional data suggests, property prices within Tilehurst will continue to rise, though we are anticipating that this could slow down as the year progresses.

Tales of the expected

It is times like these that, although challenging, can shape you as a business.  Now we’re not going to say that we haven’t found it stressful, but we have certainly proven ourselves resourceful. We know what is expected from us by our industry, our clients, and our community, and whatever challenges have been thrown in our path, we have together found a way to smooth the way forward.  Therefore, if you’re looking to buy a property or sell your home, we can say with certainty that we are ready and able to get you moved, no matter what else is thrown at our door.

Happy New Year to you all