What does lockdown two mean for the UK property market?

Posted by Edward Jonkler on November 9, 2020

Unlike during the spring lockdown across the UK, the property market will remain open during the current England-wide lockdown from November 5th to the 2nd of December. 

Although some estate agents will be closing offices, in-person property viewings valuations and surveys are still allowed to take place as long as they adhere to COVID-19 secure government guidelines. This includes all parties wearing the appropriate PPE, maintaining social distancing wherever possible and continually sanitising hands. 

Construction sites and tradespeople are also allowed to continue work as normal, alongside removal, property signage and cleaning companies – all essential companies for end-of-tenancy moving, renting and selling homes. 

However, a friend from another household is not allowed to help you to move house if it meant that they had to enter the property. 

The advice also remains that if you can do a virtual viewing you should try to. This will reduce the number of viewings that agents have to do, and it would also save you time because you’ll have a better idea of whether you want to visit it in person. 

Builders and contractors can continue to enter properties for home renovations and improvements, as long as they adhere to COVID safety guidelines, and builders’ merchants and hardware stores will also remain open as ‘essential businesses’. 

if you are in the process of buying a home, it is predicted that this process will be slower than usual because of the lockdown. This is because solicitors and estate agents will be operating at a limited capacity and many are still working through deals that have stacked up from earlier in the year. 

If you’re about to enter a contract, you should also discuss the possibility of one of the parties being affected by having to self-isolate or quarantine. If someone in your household, or the other party’s, begins to show any coronavirus symptoms just as you’re about to complete, you’ll need to postpone everything for a few weeks until it is safe to continue. 

In terms of London house prices, there have been growing fears that the end of the stamp duty holiday at the end of March 2021 could cause a sharp drop in transaction levels, which then typically leads to a fall in house prices. 

Despite this, a new forecast predicts London house prices to rise by 21% by 2025. The research by JLL suggests that prices will rise in the previously undesirable areas, as buyers are beginning to prioritise space to work from home over the location. 

The Prime Minister has also confirmed that mortgage holidays, which had previously been due to end on October 31 would be extended again. 

You can find the full list of lockdown rules and exemptions concerning the property market and moving home at the government website here.