The situation with Covid-19 and the UK’s response to it continues to evolve. What’s the best course of action for buyers and sellers right now in the UK housing market?
The short-term future of the housing market in relation to coronavirus – or Covid-19 – is currently uncertain. The government is releasing new advice and measures on a daily basis as more information becomes available. Much of this will have an impact in how people can operate within the property market, including those buying and selling homes.
In light of this, Ruban Selvanayagam, co-founder of Property Solvers, has published a new guide to help homeowners in the current climate: “Coronavirus and Selling Your House“.
2020 started on a high
The onslaught of coronavirus has taken the whole industry by surprise, says Ruban. Since the partial resolution of the Brexit uncertainty, we’ve had a booming start to the year in the UK property market. This has been led by renewed optimism and a surge of activity.
What will happen now is very difficult to predict, Ruban adds. “Nonetheless, sellers and buyers are still proceeding with sales agreed before COVID-19. Most are buying homes for the long-term and appreciate that this is nothing like the crash back in 2008/09.”
“In the meantime, with social distancing rules in place, we’re seeing estate agents adapt their models to offer services like virtual viewings through social media channels such as Facebook Live and WhatsApp.”
House prices and market recovery
The guide explains that there is still plenty of hope in the UK housing market, despite the unknowns. Most people who were already in the process of selling are progressing. And even new prospective buyers are still showing an interest, as no one expects the market to completely grind to a halt.
The mortgage market has been very strong recently, too. There are a huge number of products available, with extremely low interest rates across the board. Lenders have been very competitive in recent months, and this will help the situation right now.
“Although mortgage lenders are worried about the current situation, their balance sheets are healthy and they are well-capitalised to weather the storm.”
The housing market is in a good position for a healthy recovery after the coronavirus effects begin to ease, he points out.
Selling property now
For those whose homes are currently on the market, viewings are likely to slow down, says the report. However, appetite will still be out there, and estate agents can use this time to maximise their potential sales.
“With more people at home now, search activity on the main property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla is going through the roof. For this reason, make sure your estate agent has done a good job with the online marketing of your property for sale.
“This means good quality photos, detailed floorplans and descriptions. The better agents will also be rolling out modern tech such as virtual tours.”
“Remember, even though your estate agency may currently be closed, they should be working remotely. There’s no excuse for them to not be able to offer a decent service.”
He also urges people not to accept lower offers right now, even if people cite a “coronavirus-led recession”.
He adds: “We would encourage you to read the above and understand that this is merely a short-term market shakeup.”
The guide goes on to offer advice for those renting out property, as well as people looking for bridging loans. As the situation progresses, the information will be updated. You can read the full guide from Property Solvers here.