According to Guy Gittins, managing director of London estate agent Chestertons, the UK housing market should expect to bounce back once the current COVID-19 crisis has passed.
In a recent statement he said: “The bottom line is that people still need to move, still trust property as a solid long-term investment and are not expecting prices to change dramatically as a result of the pandemic.”
The ability to physically view a property is currently not allowed at the moment. However, estate agents and property sellers can rely on video viewings to show their home to potential buyers. This technological aid is currently helping to keep the sales market in the capital alive, albeit quieter than usual, until the UK housing market is back to normal.
According to reports by Chestertons, it generated 250 new sales offers and agreed 88 new sales over the first two weeks of lockdown.
Looking at March in its entirety, Chesterton’s properties received 13 per cent more in online viewings than it did in March 2019. At the same time, the agents have been registering over 500 new buyers per week since the lockdown began. Despite the days following the announcement being the quietest, activity picked up by the end of the week and has continued to be steady.
Gittins added: “Although normality sometimes feels like a lifetime ago, restrictions will be lifted at some point and once that happens, we are anticipating a bounce as the pent-up demand is released over the months following.”
What will happen to house prices next year?
Other estate agents predict that activity and prices should recover next year due to a release of pent-up demand.
Liam Bailey, global head of research at the property consultancy, said: “The housing market was in a strong position in January and February.
“A sharp uptick in sales and price growth was seen across the UK, with even the prime central London market seeing a reversal of a five-year price decline.
“While we expect a revival in activity to continue, with volumes next year expected to be 18 per cent above the level seen in 2019, this expansion in sales in 2021 will not fully offset the losses seen this year. Meaning that of the nearly 526,000 sales we expect to be ‘lost’ due to lockdown this year, less than half will be carried into 2021.”
Coronavirus is also likely to bring buyers a greater choice of homes for sale once restrictions are lifted, said Edward Heaton, of buying agents Heaton and Partners: “We are likely to seen an increase in stock over the next few months — as a result of coronavirus, sadly. We can expect probate sales; data from China suggests we’re likely to see an increase in the divorce rate from people who’ve been stuck together for all this time. And because of the pain that some people will be going through, they’ll be selling because of debt.
Get ready to sell your home with Joules Estate Agents
At Joules Estate Agents, we are available via email or over the phone and can give you advice regarding the property market in South Manchester. Working remotely, we are still able to help you sell your property when life returns to normal. If you would like to learn more about selling your home, get in touch.