What does Lockdown TWO mean for the residential property market?
After a storming market following the end of Lockdown ONE, what can we expect from this latest version?
Well, for many of us it will mean meals out, shopping and a few beers down the pub will have to be put on hold for a few weeks. For many more it will undoubtedly be a tough time – not only those working in hospitality, leisure and High retail but for many more who will be affected badly by the restrictions imposed.
But, the residential property market remains very much “Open for Business” albeit subject to the strict safe working practices agents and property professionals have had to adhere since initial restrictions were lifted for the sector back in May WITH A FEW ADDED MEASURES . This time around, GovUK has made it very clear that viewing property is permitted but only for fifteen minutes and limited to only two households – including the agent. They have also said that all such activities normally undertaken to value property and prepare it to market , survey and actually move can continue PROVIDING STRICT COVID-19 SAFETY MEASURES ARE FOLLOWED AT ALL TIMES
A great relief for those already in the process of buying, selling, letting or renting and a “green light” for those who have yet to sell or find their next home. Indeed, despite the fall in temperature outside, the signs are that there’s still plenty of heat in the market with demand showing little sign of cooling for the moment – even with this second lockdown is upon us
A huge number of people have become much more committed to moving since the market re-opened first time around and if anything, a second lockdown is even more likely to reaffirm their changed housing priorities – albeit a home office and plenty of living space might now take equal priority to the outside space everyone has been looking for over recent months.
Will this demand last? Well, in relation to supply, which is more naturally limited at this time of year, we predict a very stable market over the winter months with plenty of opportunity for committed sellers to strike a deal with serious buyers who have the motivation and ability to move. The Stamp Duty holiday deadline will help sustain the market activity but as the date looms ever closer the market will still be driven not just by the “Three D’s” (debt, divorce and death) but lifestyle sentiment which will continue be a major motivator.
Momentum may well slow a little as we get in to the winter months but the message for anyone looking to move is that the market is very much open for business – just make sure the agent you deal with and you and your household follow these strict safety rules :
- We encourage buyers and renters to do their initial property searches online wherever possible. Initial viewings should also be done virtually, and in-person viewings should only take place when buyers are seriously considering a property.
- To support this, agents may ask home occupiers to conduct virtual viewings. This will help reduce the number of properties people need to visit before finding their future home.
- “all parties involved should continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus by following the current guidance”.
- That includes following social distancing rules, wearing PPE including masks and gloves, having sellers leave the property during a viewing, which can only last for 15 minutes, and to have as few people looking at the property as possible.
- All physical viewings where prospective buyers or renters will be entering the property should involve no more than 2 households inside the property at any one time. This includes any agent accompanying either party. Anyone in a support bubble with either household, however, will count as part of that household.
The full Government advice on home moving during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be found here:
Our Safety Guides can be found here: