After a period of expected instability & cautiousness with closures of estate agencies for viewings nationwide, owing to the Coronavirus situation, residential and commercial properties are available for viewings by agencies once more, to the relief of buyers, vendors and estate agents like.
There has been a justified surge in all areas of the market, newly released figures from GetAgent suggest, which is cause for optimism on all sides of the market.
In April, 33% of residential home sellers were extremely concerned about the effects of COVID-19 on their sale, this figure has now dropped considerably to 22%. Even more positive news is that just 16% of buyers say they wouldn’t place an offer owing the effects of the virus on the property market, substantially down from 43% in April.
On the agency side of the market, only 15% of Agents now express concern of the Impact of COVID-19 on the market in general, nearly halving the 28% back in April. Furthermore, a heady 96% of agents expect current sales to progress through to completion compared with 75% in April. So in terms of the figures available right now the signs are positive.
GetAgent also provided data pertaining to stock levels nationwide. The largest increase of available stock was in Birmingham, where the number of available properties increased by 152 in a single week. Followed in turn by Exeter and Wilshire with 151 and 141 new properties respectively. In London, The City of Westminster saw the largest bounce-back with an increase of 134 homes reaching the market. Other notable mentions include Hounslow, Cornwall, Barnet, Bristol, Maidstone and Plymouth, which all saw at least 100 new homes listed for sale in a single week.
Further encouraging data comes from property portal Zoopla, who have reported a surge in buyer demand of 88% since the government housing market announcement. Although this spike has to be taken with a pinch of salt as it takes into account the dip originally caused by COVID-19, it is nonetheless positive and shows that there is still a strong appetite for residential property. After this initial surge, Zoopla expects the market to rise steadily as time goes by as further lockdown measures are lifted.
According to the latest Zoopla report, the north of England saw the largest increase in demand, along with some coastal areas. This is offset by a smaller rebound in the demand of property in London. Zoopla’s data suggests that this “could reflect a portion of new demand looking outside the city” owing to general changes to lifestyle and business after COVID-19, and also a little more cautiousness that London buyers have historically expressed to changing market conditions.
Further analysis from the same report suggests there has been an insubstantial year on year movement on property prices.
House price rises year-on-year are generally highest in cities in the north and the Midlands. For the 12 months between April 2019 and April 2020, UK house price increased increased on average 2.4%, or 1.9% across Zoopla’s top 20 cities with the highest level of transactions. This is down slightly from the 2% figure in March, although we do expect the rolling average to decline slightly over the coming months. But overall, values remain strong without the feared crash that 2008 brought us.
If you were holding off from either buying or selling as the market (and life for that matter) adjusted to what is a new normal, then it could be a good time to venture back into the market. Now that viewings can be conducted and with the Bank of England base rate still at a record lows, this is cause for confidence in the property market as it stands.