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What does Covid-19 mean for the property market?

For months, Brexit and the wobbly state of British politics hit the property market hard. Should we sell? Should we wait? Those were the questions on every seller’s lips. 

The market was slow for most of 2019 as the uncertainty took its toll, with house prices increasing just 0.3 per cent in the last month of the year.

But following the General Election in December, and then Brexit finally happening – whether we liked it or not – things were on the up with stability in the economy at long last.

The number of house sales rose by more than 12% in January 2020, there was a spike in mortgage approvals, as well as an increase of buyer demand in the property market.

Unprecedented times

Then, as news of a novel and deadly coronavirus began to spread, the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic. 

Boris Johnson announced the UK lockdown on 23rd March, grinding the UK economy to a halt. 

With strict social isolation measures and a nationwide lockdown in place, entire buying chains froze, throwing the property market into a position never before seen. Mortgage offers expired, wreaking havoc on chains all over the country.

Landlords were issued with warnings they were not allowed to evict tenants even if they failed to pay their rent.

Mortgage holders were able to access payment holidays to ease the financial strain, but many lenders put new lending temporarily on hold. 

Of course, staff were furloughed, many made redundant and the millions of self-employed saw their income disappear overnight, creating financial crisis for hundreds of thousands.

People were also advised not to move home, with removal firms ceasing most activity, too.

Moving past the peak

Deaths from Covid-19 increased almost daily, hitting a peak of 1172 in late April. 

But now, as the daily Covid-19 infection and death rates begin to slowly – and thankfully – trend down, the Prime Ministers and his team are devising a plan of action to ease the UK out of lockdown.

So, what does this all mean for the property market moving forward?

Data released for the first financial quarter is based on sales finalised before the lockdown began, therefore not giving us an accurate picture of the current state of the property market.

New figures that will be released later this month, or in early June, will give us a better snapshot of the property market during Covid-19 but until we know when the lockdown will end, uncertainty will hang over the property market like a black cloud.

Whatever the statistics, getting your home on the market is going to be more challenging than usual. 

Practical problems

Due to continuing social distancing rules, estate agents won’t be able to come to your home for a valuation or to take marketing pictures of your property for the foreseeable future. 

If your property was listed before this nightmare began, you won’t have had any viewers for many weeks for the same reason. Most people won’t risk buying a property without seeing photos or being able to visit. 

Knight Frank forecasts that UK prices will fall by 3% this year, then bounce back by 5% in 2021, in line with its predictions the country’s economy will shrink as a whole due to the impact of the pandemic.

Practical solutions

There is good news, though.

Our team at webuyproperty.com does not require a visit your property to complete our valuation. We have cash in the bank to buy your property outright, right now, meaning uncertainty in the economy doesn’t impact our ability to buy properties.

We’ll complete in a time frame to suit you too, meaning completion is possible in as little as two weeks, or as long as you need to get your next property lined up. We can even buy your property and rent it back to you until you’re able and ready to move out, giving you the upper hand as a cash buyer when the market gets moving again.

It sounds too good to be true but trust us – it’s not. You can read the details of our ethical and straightforward work here.

For more information, please get in touch with our experienced team who are on hand to talk you through your options. Like many companies, we’re working remotely to protect our staff, so drop us a line on info@webuyproperty.com and we’ll get back to you ASAP.