The Kickstart of the UK housing market post lockdown
Coronavirus: The kickstart of the UK housing market.
As part of the government’s response to mitigate and control the spread of the coronavirus in the UK, the month of March saw the temporary halting of the UK property market, as property viewings and valuations across the country all but seized. After a positive start to 2020, the growth across the UK has all but regressed due to the spread of the coronavirus and shutdown of relevant sectors of the economy.
However, after close to two months of suspended transactions, the property market across the UK finally opened back up in the middle of May. Although the announcement to kickstart the market back into action was unexpected, those wishing for a quick bounce back into action and demand to go back to normal may be disappointed.
But how will the property market look in the coming future as it slowly makes its way back towards its pre-coronavirus levels?
Before we explore what, this means for the property market, it is important to say a lot has changed. While homeowners, estate agents, letting agents and landlords can place their property back on the market, the process of completing any transaction will still be at the mercy of social distancing.
Estate and lettings agents are back.
When the government announced the closure of non-essential businesses across the UK, estate agents and lettings were forced to close their doors for the foreseeable future. However, the 13th May rolled around and the government announced measures to lift the freeze on property viewings, in effect reopening the property market.
The sudden announcement 12 hours before the measures came into force, took trade bodies across the country by surprise as they were expecting and preparing for a more phased and managed restart to the housing industry. With the markets kicking back into action with limited time to prepare, business across the UK had to creak back into action from a standing start and deal with the unprecedented levels of demand for properties and services.
Whilst re-opening of the market provides a silver lining to businesses, the housing sector is facing considerable changes to the way they operate and now having to deal with significant oversight to ensure the safety of all parties involved.
How is the housing market dealing with the current climate?
The housing market across the globe is one of the most unique sectors, as it requires members of staff and possible customers to enter someone’s home and intimate space. The space which the government identifies as the battleground for combating the virus.
To allow the market to perform and promote the completion of transactions or lettings, homeowners, estate/lettings agents and landlords have to operate in a manner which promotes social distancing. So how will they do this?
Homeowners and agents have been advised to utilise digital avenues wherever possible. This will most likely take shape in the form of virtual property viewings, where the potential tenant or buyer will be able to view a property they are interested in from the safety of their own home. Whilst it allows the process of the buying or letting a house to continue through the necessary stages, there will be more than likely occasions where a physical viewing will have to take place before it can be completed.
On the occasions where a physical viewing must take place or a surveyor/ estate agent has to enter the home, there are a series of measures that will be undertaken to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Before a viewing can be undertaken, the agent in charge of the property may ask you to complete a health declaration and the possibility of further temperature checks on arrival. If symptoms are presented before viewing, the agent or homeowner will have the right to delay the viewing. During the viewing itself, the necessary parties will be required to wear gloves, masks and ensure some form of social distancing where possible.
How can homeowners prepare for a viewing?
Before a viewing can take place, it is advised the property owner ensures the property is ready for the viewing. If you are wondering how you can do this, here are some examples:
- Set up the property yourself and where possible disinfect surfaces.
- Provide hand washing stations or hand sanitiser
- When the viewing is being undertaken, keep the doors or windows open to promote the natural flow of air throughout the property.
How can NEPI help?
Here at NEPI, we appreciate these are confusing times, however, we welcome the news with open arms. Whilst the reopening of the market is extremely good news, we recognise you may have a series of questions.
If you are looking for more information on what we do here at NEPI, you can contact us here, or you can visit our North East properties page to see what properties are available in your area.
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