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TBS in the Wall Street Journal – A New Wave of London Homebuyers is Purchasing Property From Afar

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Knight Frank
London and Country specialist property buying agents
18 May 2020  |   Jonathan Bramwell

Many purchasers have been relying on virtual viewings whilst the world has been in lockdown. In London a few sales have taken place from virtual viewings alone. Making a purchasing decision from a virtual tour has been common place in Asia for years – UK developers regularly travel to Asia to sell new build schemes off plan.

What is less common however is the purchase of a traditional, country home from afar.

Jonathan Bramwell, Head of The Buying Solution, recently acted for a family of British expatriates, based in Argentina, who have been searching for a home for their return to the UK.

They fell in love with a historic rectory in the Cotswolds, an area of countryside 83 miles north west of central London.

“It was in a lovely, unspoiled location which they were able to view using Google Earth,” said their buying agent Jonathan Bramwell, Head of The Buying Solution. “Being able to video the property meant they were also able to ‘walk’ from room to room. This was a savvy client and although they couldn’t get back to view it, basically they did not want to miss out.”

The family agreed to pay £1.75m for the house in early March, a couple of weeks before Britain entered official lockdown on March 23.

However, Jonathan still thinks most buyers, especially in the country, will want to see a property before buying: “Virtual viewing will, perhaps, become more mainstream as technology evolves but nothing compares to the face-to-face feeling that a house and setting gives you.”

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