Coronavirus: London’s largest private developer using new tech to conduct 1,000 property viewings

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
Trilogy penthouse. Photo: Alex Lawrie/Grant Frazer

London’s largest private developer Galliard Homes has partnered with on-line technology firm Reevo 360 to launch guided virtual viewings for all of its 1,000 properties for sale across the capital.

The portfolio of homes, worth £3.6bn ($4.4bn), can now be looked at via virtual viewings technology and remote telephone/video calls, so prospective buyers and sales agents do not need to leave their homes.

The group has 6,500 properties under development — some have been sold or not launched yet — but there are 1,002 available and being marketed via a large library of virtual viewings. 

The London properties priced from £299,000 and go up to around £1.1m for a one bedroom apartment under the Trilogy development on Harper Road in Borough.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Government warns over house moves as market freezes

“Galliard is delighted to have partnered with Reevo 360 in order to roll out guided virtual viewings across our London portfolio of homes for sale,” said David Galman, sales director at Galliard Homes.

“We have launched this new service for clients because, despite the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, over the past month we have continued to have 20 sales per week across our London portfolio, double last year during the Brexit stagnation. Our buyers want to view properties, yet stay safe from Coronavirus; so this roll out of virtual viewings is an innovative solution to help meet this demand.”

Islington Square maisonettes. Photo: Alex Lawrie

Detailed guidance on 27 March from the UK government has forced much of the property market into hibernation during the current lockdown to contain COVID-19.

It urged anyone buying or selling property to delay moving, as the housing market rapidly thaws over the coronavirus.

Even buyers and sellers who have exchanged contracts are encouraged to move only once official stay-at-home rules have been lifted, unless they cannot legally or practically reach an agreement to delay completion.

The government is working with conveyancers to develop a “standard legal process” to move agreed completion dates, and with banks to extend mortgage offers.

Meanwhile, online-focused estate agent Purplebricks (PURP.L) is seeking government help to pay staff wages and avoid job losses. It is also rolling out virtual viewings and even valuations, but expects to take a hit as UK property sales slump.

READ MORE: Purplebricks will furlough staff as coronavirus hits UK property