What a difference a month can make!
Our March Market Comment was very positive and full of the joys of spring. Indeed, the Halifax subsequently reported that house prices were 2.1% higher at the end of March than they had been at the end of December 2019. The “Boris Bounce” was very much in evidence, but who’d have thought that Boris would now be fighting for his life in intensive care, along with thousands of others, due to the pandemic. We wish everyone affected a speedy and full recovery.
As for the property market, this has, for the time being, due to government recommendations, been put on hold. The government has strongly discouraged moving and mortgage lenders are tightening their belts too. It would be natural to see, due to the lockdown, in the next three months, an expectation of a fall of at least 60% - 70% in the number of housing transactions. However, those buyers and sellers already in a “sale agreed” status should be ready willing and able to continue and be ahead of the field when restrictions start to be lifted.
The moving-related knock-on effects of the lockdown are widespread: estate agents can’t physically appraise (although at WGTPP we do offer an online tool and telephone/desktop appraisal service for the interim period), Domestic Energy Inspectors can’t inspect, valuers can’t value, surveyors can’t survey, so most buyers can’t buy. Even if they could, banks’ ability to process mortgage applications with reduced staffing levels is significantly reduced and underwriters’ attitude to risk is becoming more cautious daily.
As soon as we are back to some semblance of normality, subject to any damage done to the economy at large, the indications are that it will be “business as usual”.
Interest rates are likely to remain extremely low and any inflationary pressures caused by massive government borrowing could even be good for the property market as investors flock to bricks and mortar.
However, investors dependent on short-term/holiday lets are likely to be cautious due to travel reluctance and ongoing movement restrictions. This could be a good thing as it could release a significant number of rental properties back onto the permanent housing market, partially easing what has become known as the housing crisis.
Certainly, Britain has proven throughout history to be a supremely resilient nation. Forecasts suggest that we are about to enter a time of huge macro-economic growth and only time will tell whether the virus will be seen simply as a micro-economic blip in an otherwise healthy post-Brexit economy.
During this time we are very much open for business – if only for an advisory chat on the phone or via email contact. Please feel free to call us on
Caernarfon 01286677775 or
Property Management / Lettings 01248753939
We’d be happy to share the local market update with you and or discuss the local property market to get you ready to move when the time is right.
For more, visit our online office www.tppuk.com