New measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the 4th of January see the nation enter yet another national lockdown in an attempt to slow the spread of the new COVID-19 strain.
These measures are set to be in place until at least the middle of February and they include the closing of schools, non-essential shops and leisure and hospitality facilities. The PM ordered the nation to stay at home, avoid unnecessary travel, work from home unless it is impossible to do so and only exercise outdoors once a day.
How did previous lockdowns effect the property market?
The first lockdown in March 2020, caused a temporary pause in the majority of housing market activity. Many building sites were closed and professionals in the property industry were unable to work. The halt lasted until May when the government “unlocked” the sector.
The difference in the second national lockdown the country experienced in November 2020 was that the housing market remained open, and continued to remain open throughout the introduction of the four-tier system. This shows that the property market is a priority of the governments as it is an important part of the country’s economic recovery.
What does lockdown three mean for buying, selling and moving?
Estate and lettings agents, removal firms and tradespeople have been given the go ahead to continue working in people’s homes throughout the third national lockdown meaning the housing market will remain open.
This will help homebuyers and sellers continue with transactions and complete before the end of the stamp duty holiday at the end of March.
Although homebuyers and tenants can still move home, the government have given guidance for moving safely. This includes social distancing, wearing face coverings, letting fresh air into the property and only allowing members of the household of individual support bubble to assist in the move unless absolutely necessary.
Building sites will also remain open. People who work within critical national construction, infrastructure and manufacturing, which require in-person attendance, can continue working.
How has the property market continued to adapt?
Strict health and safety and social distancing guidelines are being followed and the sector needs to remain diligent to ensure safety for all involved.
Virtual viewings have been introduced and may continue to be used post COVID-19 as a way for tenants to reduce their list of properties they would like to view in person.
Technology has helped many property professionals overcome challenges which the pandemic has posed. The property markets ability to adapt has kept the market moving and since the summer of 2020 we have seen record highs in buying, selling and letting activity.
We expect this to continue throughout the uncertainty of 2021.