If you’re a homeowner or a homebuyer wondering what to expect in the property world when the lockdown is fully lifted, you’re not alone. As this pandemic is so unprecedented, even we in the property industry aren’t entirely clear on what the full reopening of the housing market will look like as it’s impossible to predict.
As estate agents, all we can do is use our expertise and knowledge to try and understand what this crisis could mean for housing prices and property demands.
Let’s take a closer look at what the property market may look like post-lockdown, and what it could mean for those of you interested in buying or selling:
Reopening the property market as a priority means that most of the sales that were suspended due to lockdown can now proceed. If you committed to buying or selling your property before the lockdown and have been waiting patiently for weeks, your agent will now reach out to you to proceed with the completion of the sale.
Based on early indicators, activity levels in the housing market are likely to continue to rise, due to demand that has built up during the lockdown period. In fact, demand rose by 35% just one day after the government announced that the market was reopening.
Although demand for housing is on the rise, it’s important to be aware that consumer confidence may understandably be low at this economically uncertain time. Some people may be keen to stay put and will not interested in making big financial investments until things stabilise.
On the other hand, another potential consequence of the uncertain economic state could be a boost in demand, which here at Almond Property we have already started to see. As people face financial insecurity, they may start to reconsider their housing needs and consider downsizing. Or they may no longer have to commute to work as frequently, with many companies choosing to extend their work-from-home policies well past the lockdown. This could lead to a rise in property demand beyond the most popular commuter zones outside the city.
As we’re set to move into a phase of recession, many forecasters are predicting that house prices may fall by around 10% across the country this year. These forecasts are based on how house prices have fluctuated based on economic conditions in the past.
However, it’s important to note that UK house prices weren’t rising particularly fast pre-COVID. It may also be possible that the government will provide more economic support that is geared towards the housing market.
Although the government has officially reopened the housing market and you’re allowed to make house moves, things won’t be exactly the same as they were pre-lockdown.
As estate agents, we can open our office premises and perform viewings, but both must be done at a safe social distance. Our virtual tours of properties will become increasingly common, and those who would prefer real-life viewings may need to sign health declarations before doing so.
Although navigating the post-lockdown property market may feel a little more complicated at first, we can guide you through the necessary steps in line with government guidance.
Although we advise buyers to don gloves and masks for any in person viewings, not to touch any surfaces and remain at a safe social distance from others, sellers can prepare their home for post lock-down viewings with a good deep clean. Clean all surfaces and door handles with a good antibacterial cleaning product between each viewing.
So, what happens next? Although the housing market is now open, realistically, it is going to take time for it to fully kick into action. Many workplaces are still closed, with millions still on furlough. We, like many other estate agents are getting to grips with new government guidance and ensuring that our businesses are adhering to safe work practices. However, there’s no reason why your transaction can’t go off without a hitch.
Feel free to reach out to us at Almond Property on 01708 933949 or firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our agents will be happy to discuss how the post-lockdown property market will impact your transaction.