Since the government announced the plans for lockdown on the 23rd March we have been keeping a closer eye on the housing market.
As a firm we have been busy making sure all of our existing clients transactions are either completed in a safe manor or have been taken as far as they can in the current climate. We have a number of matters that are ready to proceed with completion as and when this is possible. For this to happen we will be relying on removal companies starting up again which we hope won’t be too far away.
In terms of what the current market looks like the demand for housing fell by 70% from the start of March 2020 to the week ending 29th March 2020. The drop in demand bottomed out in early April and has since started to improve slowly from a low base. Despite a steady increase in buyers looking for homes, demand still remains 60% below the levels recorded at the start of March.
Currently people are not able to view properties under the lockdown rules. What we are starting to see are more and more agents offering virtual viewings. This means essentially the seller has created some footage of their property so you can feel like you are walking around seeing what you like and don’t like. This can be very helpful and maybe eliminate properties from your search or guarantee that you definitely want to have a safe viewing when this is all over.
What we are seeing on platforms like Zoopla is that there are still plenty of properties to choose from with the total properties listings down just 4%. In fact interestingly browsing on Zoopla has started to increase over the last few weeks.
Many people have spent more time at home in the last few weeks and some may feel the urge to move and find more space or consider the potential for remote working. This could boost activity in the second half of 2020, but this all depends upon how much the economy is impacted over the rest of the year and the impact on levels of unemployment.
According to Zoopla around 373,000 property transactions worth a total £82bn are on hold due to the coronavirus lockdown. We are hoping to see some positive changes to the housing market and will be keeping a close eye on all aspects.
If you would like to speak to a member of our Residential Property team please call 01256 320555 or email email@example.com.
Head of Residential Property
*information accurate as of 29/4/20 with statistics taken from www.zoopla.co.uk