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COVID-19 and the property market

Date Published 25 July 2020

I'm struggling to think of any other topic to discuss than Covid-19 and the impact on the property market, so this month, we will discuss the outlook in this strange new world.

For 10 weeks we had almost zero activity across the board. We did manage to sell 2 properties through our virtual reality tours but these are some of the best selling months and would usually expect to sell 4 a week in these months. So, is the outlook all negative?

The government moved quickly to support jobs and reduce interest rates and whilst it is a shame that they didn't shut down travellers from infected countries as quickly, these moves will support the property market. The obvious negatives are the dominance of Gatwick as a local industry and the impact Covid-19 has had on the travel industry, the reduced availability of mortgages with 5 and 10% deposit mortgages pretty much none existent and the impact on the economy. These will naturally put downward pressure on prices.

However, printing money does reduce its value. And a lot of money has been printed, coupled with the cost of finance also reducing and a government instruction to lenders to avoid repossessions at all costs.

Assets traditionally perform well in the debasing of a currency and with few forced sellers, this should stabilise prices somewhat. There's no 2 ways about it, without Government intervention the housing market and economy would be in freefall, but we may be slightly surprised at how supportive these actions are. On a local level, we have been flat out with viewings, valuations and sales, with people also moving further away from London given that they can now work remotely. In fact, all of our sales are achieving at least 98.5% of the advertised price and some achieving over, so clearly there is still appetite for moving and some support for property prices.

Paul Davies
Director of At Home Estate Agents and About Mortgages Ltd
01403 886288