What would a Lockdown 2.0 mean to the UK Property Market?
Reporting on facts over speculation and without a political agenda in sight, my impression is that it has been business as usual for many estate agents across the country with a relatively busy time being had from all. New listings are being taken on, offers coming through and agreements on sales – Pretty much as we were before the covid-19 Lockdown 1:0 caused most estate agents to be closed between March to June 2020.
With the stamp duty relief, thanks to Rishi Sunak, agents are seeing further activity and temptation to enter the property market… Though, to buck this impression of mine, a recent survey I ran on Estate Agents UK Facebook group showed that a majority of estate agents are saying that activity is less than what it was pre covid-19: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EstateAgency/permalink/10156985795766503/
Lockdown version number 2 is underway already in states across the USA, recently California and Texas entered back in to shutdown mode. Can this be repeated in the UK where areas / towns / regions / counties could find themselves being requested to lockdown if local figures re covid-19 cases are not moving in the correct direction? To a degree we have seen this already in the UK with Leicester having to endure a ‘local lockdown‘ following an explosion in coronavirus cases.
Can the UK property market that has already come through the decision to leave the EU without any scares cope with not only the mid and longer term effects to the economy thanks to covid-19, but also see itself unbruised if we enter another period of lockdown / pause to the property market?
What can be put in to place if the property market is paused, can systems still run? Virtual viewings were certainly trending of recent so will they trend again if call upon and be sufficient enough to entice offers and confirm sales? Can all the legals be carried out online (via staff working from home) and will the government allow a select few from the ‘property sector’ to carry out their work to move the market, such as surveyors / valuers?
Speaking to one local estate agent friend of mine they state ‘If it was not for covid-19 I really feel we would be seeing a buoyant market and certainly prices stable or creeping up at least. It was all sorted in that there was at last a decision regarding Brexit, most people were sick of this subject, and a newly led government in power with a clear direction. There was optimism in the air. Now it is less so due to corona-virus, though the property market is strong still, it can only take some uncertainty and we have yet to see the effect to the economy and employment. I still feel that even if a small hit to the property market takes place, I see this as highly likely, it will recover very quickly.”