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Graham Awards


Market Madness - all-night queue at estate agency by buyers

Around 30 people spent all night queuing outside an estate agent ahead of 14 homes going on sale - the most extreme sign yet of the current extraordinary housing market frenzy.

When Bidmead Cook agency in Aberdare opened on Friday morning, 13 of the homes sold within the first three hours. 

Estate agent Gavin Williams told the BBC he had never seen buyers queuing overnight in his professional life; one turned up at 3.15pm on Thursday for the launch of the properties on Friday morning.


That early-bird buyer - Angharad Hamilton-Shaw - told the BBC: "Originally we planned to go queue at midnight but with more interest, the time got earlier and earlier. And it's a good job we did as the next person came around four o’clock. People were still coming in the early hours and then walking away once they asked those of us queuing which properties we were interested in - it was really heart-breaking."

Fellow estate agent director Jeanne Fry-Thomas said she "couldn't believe my eyes" at the scenes and reported that colleagues handed out coffee and donuts overnight to those waiting.

The off-plan properties were priced from £184,950 to £320,000.

Fry-Thomas says: "It's bouncing and it's completely bonkers. It's local people, people moving from outside the area, investors - it's madness, our busiest offices are all the valleys offices. And we just don't have the stock. The demand is there, but we don't have the properties."

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    I had to look up where Aberdare actually was.

    It would have been handy to add to the location description.

  • Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    Had the most basic level of technology been used, then all of these buyers could have been 'reserved' their new properties, having been qualified, all from the comfort of their existing homes. Having to wait outside premises, is a throwback to the 1980's, the world is now more Amazon, UX delight than, waiting in line, especially overnight. 75% of investment buyers who bought new homes in 2020 did so off plan, I am guessing they did not roll out their sleeping bags to be first in line at analogue estate agent. A great story for the BBC, a poor show for the UK real estate industry, now more than ever proptech will power real estate, the days of gatekeeper, slow agency are definitely numbered. We at Proptech-PR have helped over 20 real estate organisations 'manage' the change from 1980's thinking to 2030's business models, in 2020. De-risking their futures, in 2021 we think we will double this number. Change marches on.


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