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We certainly seem to be living in a time of chaos, whether it be pandemic or “pingdemic”, so can we discern any order beginning to emerge?

Firstly, on the vexed question of necessary precautions against Covid are concerned, it’s basically “as you were”, although the guidance is now advisory rather than mandatory. Whether you are buying, selling or renting, you can rest assured that Charter Whyman will be continuing with our common-sense measures to ensure everybody’s safety and will advise you of all necessary procedures as appropriate.

It is often said that if you ask two economists to expound on any situation you will get at least five completely contradictory explanations. Sadly, this seems to be equally true of most reports on the property market, each one contradicting the last.

Take two headlines from this week about the London market. The first screamed ‘Super-rich buyers coming back to prime London’ reporting more activity than at any time since the rush to beat the introduction of the new stamp duty rates seven years ago and fuelled by those looking for more space and larger gardens having experienced lockdown. Apparently, there are still bargains to be had with those whose budget is £5 million plus!

The second story reported the biggest exodus from London ever recorded. This is certainly good news for house sellers in Letchworth, where the Garden City principles provide exactly what this type of buyer is looking for.

Another seeming contradiction is to be seen in the latest news on mortgages. At a time when fears of rising inflation stoke the likelihood of higher interest rates in the medium term, two lenders have introduced the lowest ever fixed rate mortgages, albeit for those with a large deposit. The inference is to grab these offers while you can.

Turning to the buy-to-let market, yet more contradictions are to be found. The tax regime under which landlords must operate has become less generous to say the least and numerous tenants’ groups have been campaigning to make the environment even more hostile for the private landlord; it would appear that the pressure to abolish the ‘Section 21’ route to terminating a tenancy is all but irresistible. It is interesting to note, therefore, just how many MPs, from the Prime Minister downwards, supplement their incomes by letting residential property. The reason is that no other investment gives a more generous or secure return. Unless you are heavily over-leveraged, residential property remains a very sound investment.

So, causes for optimism? If you are thinking of selling your home in or around Letchworth the area provides much of what buyers are looking for and demand continues to outstrip demand.

If you are thinking of renting out your property, the same applies.

If you are looking to buy or rent, don’t give up – it might take a little more effort to find the right home, but it’s worth it – Letchworth Garden City and its neighbourhood is a great place to live.