It’s been just over a month since the government announcement the re-opening of the property market and enabled estate agencies to trade fully again, with safety measures in place for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic that’s swept the World.
Working from home for the previous few months, the team here at RPS felt that the transition back to the office environment was a welcome one. However, after having many conversations as a team, we decided (unlike others) to be cautious in our approach and ensure safety measures were fully in place. This delayed us being back in the office by just under a week and it was a risk we were willing to take due to the high number of other agents who just simply flung open the doors on the day of the announcement.
We currently have electronically signed safety forms in place for anyone wishing to view or come into the office, asking medical related questions to Coronavirus (Covid-19).
On top of this, our properties are now receiving professional videos (example above) to ensure potential buyers can view this before they book a viewing internally, to reduce the need for unnecessary or wasted viewing appointments. Our policy also includes wearing PPE for viewers and our staff when on appointments.
Although restrictions are gradually being eased, it’s safe to say that this is still forefront of most people’s thoughts and actions.
The first thing to recognise is that the property market is propped up on a few things; buyer confidence and ease of access to funds. Although, the later can drive the former too.
Currently, the lending market in general is at an all-time high, with businesses taking advantage of the government loan backed schemes provided by the major banks. Could this be a factor in how banks look to adjust their lending products for residential mortgages? The current data shows that the value of gross mortgage advances in 2020 Q1 was 3.8% higher than in 2019 Q1, standing at £65.8 billion.*
*Data from Financial Conduct Authority.
What’s really important to note though is the level of employees who were furloughed or have sadly been made redundant. This number of furloughed jobs is huge – I believe it to be over 8.9million jobs – that’s a scary number!
So, without wanting to bore you further with data and stats, the real focus and what you all want to know reading this is, how is Lee on the Solent, Hill Head, Stubbington & Gosport property market fairing since it’s return?
We’ve seen a huge uptake in new properties coming to the market and buyers registering, so this has been positive. However, looking at this logically, this is more than likely due to a couple of reasons;
It’s an obvious point to make, but thousands of would be home movers were instantly stalled pre-lockdown, this has created an influx now.
Is this an unrealistic property market or can we be certain that it will continue?
First things first. There’s not a single person on the planet that will be able to give you a definitive answer on this, I’m actually a little confused at the commentators and others in the property industry that think they can.
The facts are this; the economy has suffered, the UK is dealing with furloughed workers which in turn is effecting child care for employees being asked to go back to work and on top of this the banks are having to loan billions to UK businesses to keep them afloat.
The current positive is that we currently have some serious buyers and sellers. If sellers remain realistic properties are selling, quicker than they were pre-lockdown! Landlords are also benefiting from an increased activity in tenants wanting homes. It may well be that this continues for the next few months, it would just be wise though to take into consideration that it may not last. That doesn’t mean the market is going to crash, I’m not certain that will happen but it more confident that it will level out, perhaps as we approach the Christmas season and the first part of 2021.
I’m conscious that this may not give you the answers as to whether you should move now or wait. Once again, this isn’t an answer anyone can give you as it will depend on your own financial position and need or want to move. What I can say though is that no matter what you decide, the market is currently busy it and it is benefiting from have serious buyers and tenants.
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For more property video examples, please feel free to watch the videos below;
Written by: Mark Rowe – RPS Estate & Letting Agents.