The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the property market in the UK. Sales and viewings are down to an all-time low and the market was at a standstill during this peak of the crisis.
The market is just beginning to get back to life, but this is happening very slowly and sellers and buyers are trying to adapt to the new ‘normal’. So, what does this mean for you if you are trying to sell or buy a home in the near future?
What Transpired during the Crisis?
As already mentioned, the property market came to a halt during the peak of the crisis. Nobody was allowed to do property viewings as it would have gone against coronavirus restrictions. Some property agents went ahead to come up with innovative ways to facilitate viewings of properties such as using video tours. However, not many people can buy a home based on a video tour.
Moreover, the removals business was also forced to come to a halt, so very few relocations were taking place during the lockdown period.
Also, during the lockdown, mortgage companies removed many properties from their listings. They opted to cater to only high loan-to-value clients who have the ability to make huge initial deposits.
Property viewings are now back, but agents have to adhere to strict rules and regulations. Agents are still advised to do virtual house viewings and video tours instead of in-person viewings. So, technology is definitely helping a lot on this front.
UK authorities still recommend that in-person viewing should be reserved for buyers with a strong intention of buying a particular property.
In-person viewings are required to adhere to social distancing regulations. Property owners are advised to exit their homes while viewing is being done. Homes should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised after in-person viewings.
2 major changes that are taking place is that open houses are still prohibited and agents are not allowed to drive clients to viewings. These 2 changes may cause some inconvenience to clients who do not have transport or are looking for a property outside their locality.
If you were planning to relocate before the pandemic, you can now relocate because removals are now allowed. A point to note here is that you should try and pack your belongings yourself. This is to ensure very minimal contact takes place between you and the movers.
If anybody in your home is self-isolating or experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, it is advisable to delay the move.
The mortgage market is also gradually coming back to life. Companies are now listing more properties, such as serviced apartments in Farnborough. This means that clients with low deposits can also apply for mortgages, unlike a few months back.
Nobody can predict how house prices will go. The UK authorities have also put in place measures to track and predict house prices.
However, they have put these measures on hold because they do not have sufficient information to come up with a proper tracking system. As you can already guess, very few houses have been sold in the last few months. This relatively small sample size is not enough to make accurate price predictions, especially in these unprecedented times. There is very limited information on how the market will go. All we can do is wait and see.
Nationwide, which has information on its clients (mortgage buyers only), says property prices dropped 1.7% in May as compared to April. This was the largest drop witnessed in over a decade. However, this sample size is still insufficient to make accurate conclusions and predictions of how the UK property market will go. Again, all we can do is wait and see how everything goes. Stay safe and obey Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines.