Although it feels like a different world at the moment, it was only a month ago that we were still going about our business as usual. And looking at the latest figures from Halifax, the beginning of March continued the same trend as the beginning of the year.
Prior to the market restriction, housing prices had increased 3% year on year, with prices between January and March also increasing by 2.1% compared to October to December. Key market indicators showed a sustained level of buyer and seller activity
The main reason for this upward trend is the B-word that has somewhat disappeared from the news cycle: Brexit. With more confidence and less uncertainty hovering over the mind of consumers.
This was the clear trajectory of the market before the lockdown, and it is clear that we ended the month on a different path.
Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, “On a practical level, most market activity has been paused, with the public rightly following advice to stay at home, and estate agencies, surveyors and conveyancers temporarily closing as a result. With viewings cancelled and movers being encouraged to put transactions on hold, activity will inevitably fall sharply in the coming months. It should be noted that with less data available, calculating average house prices is likely to become more challenging in the short-term.
“However, it’s still too early to properly assess what potential long-term impacts the current lockdown might have on the UK housing market. While there is very significant uncertainty at the moment, much will depend on the length of time it takes for restrictions to be lifted, the pressure that has been exerted on the economy in the meantime and the effect this has on consumer sentiment.
“Lenders have stepped up to offer their support, giving customers up to an additional three months to complete their home purchase at the agreed mortgage rate, alongside payment holidays for existing customers. We continue to have confidence in the fundamental strength of the housing market and remain ready and willing to lend on new mortgages, as well as product transfers and further advances, wherever and whenever there is demand.”
At Poole Townsend, we are seeing a huge majority of buyers and sellers pushing forward with their purchases ready to complete once the lockdown is over. There still seems to be a lot of interest in properties for sale, so all the signs locally are that business will return to normal pretty quickly. For more information on what you can do during the lockdown, get in touch with our team of experts.