SINCE BORIS JOHNSON made the announcement for everyone to STAY AT HOME to protect ourselves and to protect everyone against the spread of this dreadful virus, people are quickly assimilating what this means to them personally – not only on a day-to-day basis but for their future plans.
In these unprecedented and worrying times, if you are thinking about moving home, it’s a real challenge to know what to do.
- Is it a good idea with the current situation?
- Should you put your plans on hold?
- What’s going to happen in the property market?
- Are there willing and able buyers out there?
- Are properties still selling?
- If you’re not yet on the market Should you still plan ahead to put your property on the market?
- How do you deal with viewings?
- And when you find a buyer – how about searching, finding and securing your next home? How would you handle moving?
If you are hoping to buy or sell in 2020 – Plenty of questions and no doubt you might have many more of many more.
We don’t have all the answers, but as one of the West Country’s leading independent estate agents, we do have decades of experience in advising about selling and buying and helping people move in all kinds of property markets. Despite the overwhelming concerns about the Coronavirus Pandemic, many of the reasons for people wanting to move don’t go away. So, here are our thoughts:
Is it a good idea in the current market?
During the Coronavirus Pandemic, far and away the most important thing is to always follow the advice of experts.
Keep monitoring the official Government advice – but that doesn’t mean you have to forget about moving and certainly not putting your plans for the future on complete hold. By following Government advice, taking the necessary precautions and working with positive, caring, understanding and professional agents with the necessary procedures in place, you can still press-on with your home moving plans.
What’s happening and what’s going to happen in the property market?
We know the answer to the first but going forward, who knows, exactly? Not the answer you might have hoped for and not very helpful. So, here’s what not only we think (based on decades of property market peaks and troughs) but also what so many industry experts are predicting.
Demand was at an all-time high going into this period and supply was just beginning to grow. Sales were on a strong upward curve, with Rightmove reporting 182 properties marked under offer on in postcodes EX1-EX6 in the first 19 days of March. Today, in the Exeter area alone a further 10 properties have been listed for sale on Rightmove
Here at Wilkinson Grant, we have just had the busiest start to the year, EVER! And at the time of writing this initial blog (midday, Friday 20th March 2020) we have in the last few days alone agreed six new sales, had numerous offers on several other properties, listed five fresh-to-market instructions, have a busy viewing diary and we are still be called and emailed by people wanting to buy or sell. And on the first day following the historic announcement, when many people were still reeling from the news, we are still negotiating new offers, launching fresh properties to market and getting exchanges and completions over the line for our many clients.
We can’t say it’s “business as usual” but despite the virus, people are clearly looking to continue with their moving plans. There will undoubtedly be fewer people transacting in the coming months but there will, without question, be a good number of individuals and families determined to press on with their house buying, home moving plans. People need a roof over their heads, families will continue to grow, some need to downsize while others need to release – for a whole host of reasons, people will still want to buy and sell.
In uncertain times, when it comes to where to put your money, there is always a shift to “bricks and mortar” and property has always proven a sound investment in the mid to longer-term. There is no reason to think otherwise now – if anything, there’s even more reason to think this sentiment will be even greater in the future.
After the pandemic is over, not only do we and other seasoned property industry experts – but also the banks and economists – predict a massive boom in activity in the UK property market, not in prices (there may well be some kind of correction here) but in transactions, as pent-up demand and healthy supply returns. In the meantime, we don’t see house prices remaining anything other than stable but there will be plenty of opportunities for both buyers and sellers to do deals.
Are there willing and able buyers out there?
There’s certainly plenty of willing and able buyers and there are only two things that will really influence that continuing to be the case during this period. One is their own ability to get out and view (which, for the moment will be curtailed but will be replaced by agent-led online “accompanied” viewings) and the second is the availability of suitable properties for sale. There is no doubt that the supply of fresh properties to the market will fall but people looking at property online will not only continue to be a national pastime but also continue to be the prime resource for serious buyers searching for their next home or investment. Even if they cannot view (for whatever reason) they will look to register their interest.
Are properties still selling?
As we have said, even since the virus has become the dominant feature of everyone’s lives, yes, properties are still selling and even if there is a full “lockdown”, activity will still go on before, during and after. Indeed, many businesses such as our own, solicitors and lenders are geared up to progress everything online.
If you’re not yet on the market Should you still plan ahead to put your property on the market?
As we have said at the start, health and health precautions are of paramount importance at all times. Under the current Gov advice, for the moment, we are unable to visit you home
We can still provide you with a very good estimate of value online and discuss your property plans. We can talk to you and devise a strategy to help bring those plans to fruition, as and when you are ready. This can include help to show you how to realise the best value, how to help you find and secure your next home and how to make the move affordable. We can even discuss putting your property online without the need for even visiting your home!
Should you put your property on the market?
It may seem a little crass to say “you’ve got to be in it, to win it” especially in such troublesome times – but nobody knows how long this pandemic might be with us – and for everyone’s wellbeing, every effort must be made for us to get on as well as possible with our daily lives. If you hope to move in the next year and have a property to sell, the best advice we can offer is to get in on the market – whether it be fully advertised and available to view or on our CONFIDENTIAL “OFF MARKET” REGISTER – offering the added benefit, if you are also looking to buy, of you being alerted to other off-market or prior to launch properties.
For further details of the above and for answers to any other questions you might have about selling in the current market – please call 01392 427500 or email us at email@example.com. Stay safe, and please do not hesitate to get in touch.