What To Expect From The Property Market After Lockdown | The Property Market Update
Welcome to our May market update and I thought as we wait for the upcoming announcement on Sunday from Boris this would be a good time to deliver a market update.
This may be a slightly longer update than normal and I hope that’s ok but I wanted to give you a brief snap shot of what we managed to achieve in April and more importantly than ever try to look ahead and give insights into what we think will happen to the market.
So firstly April:
Well as you would expect given we spent the month in lockdown there was very little front end activity with regard to properties coming to market and those selling. However what we have been amazed at is the appetite from some of our customers to take advantage of modern technology to facilitate video valuations and video viewings. This helped create some new business but in truth so much of this will be reliant on a physical visit to the property.
Government guidance at the start of lockdown suggested that only essential home moves should take place but again the resolve of our customers to continue with their planned move has been a real surprise with almost a third of our normal house completions taking place albeit whilst ensuring that customers adhered to the guidelines set out.
So moving forward….
The world remains an unpredictable place but let me give you some thoughts both negative and positive that I believe will influence the market moving forward. Often these relate to the sales market but many also are relevant in the world of lettings as well.
Lets start with the bad stuff first:
1. Media provide only extremes and at the moment most of it is negative and this affects how people feel about the present crisis and the world beyond.
2. Unemployment - We know that sadly a certain number of people are likely to become unemployed following the lockdown.
3. There is still some uncertainty about how the house moving process will be affected in the post lockdown world and this may slow down the process.
So onto the positives and the reason why I believe the market in general terms will be ok.
1. Mortgage Finance – In 2007/08 our big issue was that mortgage finance disappeared and that will simply not happen at the end of this crisis. We are already seeing good evidence of lenders starting to improve their criteria back to pre-lockdown levels and expect this to continue.
2. Lack of housing supply – this remains a problem across all markets. We have a growing population and not enough housing to meet the demand. This is an issue that will not go away and even with a potential reduction in buyers we will continue to see demand across most of the market outweigh supply.
3. Security in Bricks and Mortar – we live in a country where bricks and mortar is always seen as a great place to put our money and even more so in times of uncertainty around inflation and general economic well being. I believe following this crisis that will remain the case.
Ok so in summary there are issues which cannot be overlooked. This has and continues to be a crisis which has dominated our world. As we do emerge from lockdown I expect to see an immediate surge in activity possibly followed by a small lull and then from there the fundamentals of the property market should allow for a return back to better times through the rest of the year and into next.