As today sees the housing market in England begin to reopen after seven weeks of lockdown, Residential Property Partner Alison Treble considers what life might look like on the other side of the pandemic for the property industry.
A move to the country
The acceptability of home working has undoubtedly been accelerated as a result of the crisis and if proximity to work is no longer a significant factor in deciding where to live, then the option of countryside living is becoming an option for many where previously it was not possible.
Many of our estate agent partners are telling us that they are seeing a rise in the number of enquiries from people looking to exchange city living for a better quality of life in the country.
The implications for the property market in cities are immense and we could be heading towards a world where traditional commuter belts fade away and “new villages” rise in prominence.
The rise of the virtual viewing
Virtual viewings have been talked about for a while but until now there has not been the incentive to get it up and running. The combination of not being allowed to enter properties for viewings during lockdown and everyone being forced to become more tech savvy in order to keep in contact with friends and family has seen demand for virtual viewings grow.
Property websites such as Rightmove, have introduced video tabs alongside the traditional location maps and floorplan tabs, estate agents are starting to produce virtual tours and we have even seen some homeowners make their own videos on their phones during lockdown.
Even though buyers are now able to view properties providing social distancing rules are observed, the appeal of being able to virtually look around a house while at home could mean virtual viewings are here to stay.
Will banks be keen to lend mortgages?
A key role in the property market is played by banks and building societies and how keen they are to lend mortgages. They will undoubtedly be more cautious after lockdown, but lending is going to be vital in enabling the market to bounce back and so we hope that they continue to lend.
The supply of homes is likely to be affected as we emerge out of lockdown, but now that the Government advice is that it is safe to move, we need the estimated half a million people who were looking to move prior to the crisis to start making plans again in order to enable the industry to quickly recover.
If you are looking to move and would like to speak to our Residential Property team please call 01225 750 000 or email Alison.email@example.com. Good luck with your move.