If you saw the recent headlines in the media after Nationwide published its latest property report, alarm bells will be ringing – on 2 June, The Express ran with ‘UK house prices fall by most since 2009 – experts forecast 5% drop to crippled market’.
It’s enough for anyone thinking of selling to shake their heads in despair and sorrow that their future plans have most likely been scuppered by Coronavirus.
Of course, headlines are just that, headlines.
The reality is that, despite the fact that we have been dealing with a pandemic, house prices still rose – just not by as much as predicted, that’s what the Nationwide report was really about. It’s really not all doom and gloom for either buyers or sellers.
The property market is now in a state of catch-up and adjustment to the brave new world in which we find ourselves having to live for the foreseeable future.
As business slowly gets back to usual, there are over 350,000 sales UK-wide pending completion – and at Home-Approved we’re busy catching up with a backlog of property surveys for buyers keen to make progress.
Time will tell how the property market is really faring
Naturally, the uncertainty of the economy will have an impact in the coming months – we probably won’t have a realistic view of the property market for about six months.
Not all sales will complete but that’s normal and to be expected. Others will fail because of changes of circumstance, particularly for people whose jobs have been affected or, sadly, because of death from the virus.
Lockdown has changed everything
What is apparent is that lockdown has made people think very deeply about their circumstances and how they want to live their lives. It’s changed the way many of us work –working from home and being able to do it successfully will be a real game changer.
If there’s no longer a need to be in the office five days a week, maybe it’s an opportunity to move further away but still within easy reach of a train station or major road network. Maybe it’s a case of looking for a property with an extra room to turn into a home office.
Or perhaps week after week of living in an apartment block has made you crave a garden of your own.
Or maybe you took the opportunity to do some sorting and tidying and realised you don’t need such a roomy house now the kids have grown up and left – maybe you feel there is too much distance between you and the grandchildren and are ready now to up sticks.
And for those who are mortgage-free, maybe you’ve realised that it gives you to make some choices you’ve been putting off – early retirement, starting somewhere afresh, not leaving it too late in life to look for somewhere that better suits your needs and desires.
Out of lockdown many opportunities may be beginning to show themselves! We think that right now could be a really exciting time for anyone looking to move. On 27 May, Rightmove saw an 18% increase in visits to its website compared to the same time last year – that’s a lot of people checking out the market!
Taking a more focused approach to buying and selling homes
Just have we’ve had to change our working practices when carrying out surveys, so estate agents are having to find new ways to market properties, including video as the first method of viewing a property, so that social distancing can be maintained.
Everything means more effort, which, in turn, should mean that people put their houses up for sale out of a genuine desire to move and prospective buyers aren’t wasting time idly looking without being fully committed.
And don’t forget, mortgage rates are at a low right now. Combined with property price increases slowing down, you may be able to bag yourself your dream home for a great price! And when you do, give us a call to book your comprehensive Home-Approved building survey.