The coronavirus outbreak has impacted virtually everyone! To combat the spread of Covid, the UK has been put under three national lockdowns with a constantly evolving three-tiered structure. The third national Lockdown in England began on January 6th, and now the four-part plan to eliminate the restrictions is in effect.
If everything goes according to plan, the legal restrictions on social interaction will be lifted by June 21, 2021. The end of the lockout will be marked by the restarting of schools and other sectors that are closed due to the pandemic. But what does this actually mean for the UK property market? How has lockdown and the global pandemic affected the way we buy property? Jeremy Payne explains…
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People’s property buying decision
Since Lockdown, people who were eagerly waiting to buy a new house or sell an old one, have gradually become more and more unsure about the market’s future condition. Though Lockdown has not quite changed people’s plan to move as of yet. They just approach it with slightly more caution – fairly acceptable due to mass unemployment, wage cuts, job uncertainties and businesses folding due to Covid. Amid all the uncertainties, wealthy buyers have actually been fairly alert and selling while prices are high.
Property transactions across the UK
Despite the coronavirus outbreak, the UK property market has successfully maintained stability. There’s been little decline in the number of transactions or property inquiries – residential sales have been incredibly busy and demand for property is still going strong. House prices have grown nearly 6%!
Online property viewings
As everyone is restricted to go out due to lockdown, prospective home buyers are viewing property online more than before. As per the statistics by Rightmove, real estate websites’ visits have increased by 45-percent in the first week of February, with eager homebuyers sending 18-percent more inquiries. Even the number of transactions accepted through online portals has increased by 7%. So those who are selling properties and want to reach more prospect buyers for their properties will have to work to make their online presence strong.
Moving home during the lockdown
Following the current UK Government guidelines, people can safely move their homes. According to the current guidelines, letting and estate agents, as well as professional packers and movers, can continue working. So, if you’re looking forward to moving, you can certainly go to the property viewings. The new update for England will not affect the home moves since the housing market is still open. This means that the In-person viewings will increase as the constraints are gradually relaxed as we progress through the different phases of the lockdown timeline.
Viewing property in lockdown
While transactions seem set to be unchanged due to pandemic, real estate agencies have been forced to adjust how they operate. Since Lockdown, property viewings are now available virtually as well as in person. However, before you book your appointment, you need to consider a few details about how it can be conducted, plus ways in which to keep you and your viewers safe.
Here’s a few measures that I’d advise you take before conducting a viewing…
- Wear a face mask
- Maintain your social distance
- Limit property viewings to just 15 minutes
- No refreshments should be offered throughout the viewing
- More than two households shouldn’t be present at the site (the agent counts as 1 household)
- The property must have a flow of air circulating throughout – i.e. keep doors and windows open
- Minimise the amount of people at a viewing
Despite the constraints imposed by lockdown and the COVID-19 outbreak, the UK property market is very much moving. New strategies have come about for continuing to sell and rent properties in-line with the latest government regulations. Keep a close eye on these as they’re likely to change.
This article was brought to you by Jeremy Payne. An expert in logistics and transportation, who has has been associated with the Moving and Packing Industry for more than 10 years. Jeremy has been associated with CBD Movers, a leading Moving Company in UK, and Australia and one of the best Removalists and Movers in London. He loves writing and sharing a variety of blogs within the logistics realm.
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