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Manchester estate agent slammed for ‘appalling’ advertisement

A NORTHERN estate agency has come under attack after suggesting that the Covid-19 pandemic could be a “blessing in disguise” because property prices in its region have increased by more than 8 per cent.

JP & Brimelow estate agency, which operates in Greater Manchester and Cheshire, bragged about the property boom as the number of deaths from coronavirus in Britain exceeded 100,000 on Tuesday.

It issued a promotional leaflet stating: “Has Covid been a blessing in disguise for Chorley and Old Trafford?” 

The leaflet went on to say that, according to figures from the government’s Land Registry: “The data shows us that in September last year the average price of a detached house was £425,000. 

“This is 8.4 per cent higher than the same period a year before. Given the year we’ve had the change is very impressive indeed.”

The leaflet went on: “When you account for how unstable the market has been in so many senses, it’s all the more remarkable how the market has performed.

“If you are starting to think about moving, give us a call.”

Greater Manchester Tenants’ Union lead organiser and Burnage Labour councillor Ben Clay told the Morning Star: “I think it is appalling. 

“It shows a complete lack of compassion and empathy for the thousands of people who have lost their lives up and down this country because of the pandemic.

“It’s like going back to the economic crash, the bankers’ crash — the wealthy profited. It’s the wealth going from the bottom to the top again.”

A JP & Brimelow spokesman said: “Sometimes we get things wrong.

“We had wanted to share a bit of positivity during a time when many people are suffering, but the way we did it was clumsy and ill-thought-out.

“We would like to say a heartfelt sorry to everyone in our community who encountered our latest flier.

“We got it wrong and for that we apologise unreservedly.

“We have all lost loved ones due to the pandemic and we acknowledge that the flier was not representative of the times we are living in.”

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