The ongoing coronavirus crisis has firmly slammed the brakes on the housing market. However, many prospective home movers across the UK are determined to press ahead with their plans at the earliest opportunity, with three quarters planning a home move from lockdown.
A new sentiment survey carried out by comparison site for home movers, reallymoving, 18% are still hoping to move later this year. Just 7% had scrapped their plans because they were no longer willing or able to move home. Most buyers and sellers are sensibly taking advantage of this period of lockdown to prepare their property for sale and research areas to move to, as well as talking to agents about property that may be about to hit the market.
Those who have agreed on a deal and are already in the process of buying and selling a property when the lockdown commenced potentially have the most to lose, having already invested money in the transaction. Sensibly, most (62%) intend to use the lockdown period to get as far ahead as possible so they’re ready to hit the ground running when the current restrictions are lifted. A third (29%) have decided to put their transaction on pause temporarily, while 6% are no longer willing or able to proceed and 3% have already seen their chain collapse.
The key concerns of buyers and sellers who are no longer proceeding with their home move are clear, with the main reason for withdrawing being nervousness over house price falls (26%). One respondent commented, “We’re in our mid-20s and probably wouldn’t have stayed in the property long enough to get over the negative equity of the originally agreed price.” Other worries include; someone in the chain pulling out (17%), concern over job security/lost job (16%) and lost confidence in the economy (16%).
The vast majority (92%) of sellers who are marketing their homes but haven’t yet found a buyer are planning to leave their property on the market currently, taking advantage of the fact that buyers may have more time on their hands to search for property online during lockdown.
Rob Houghton, CEO, had this to say: “Home movers at all stages of the process currently remain determined to press ahead at the earliest opportunity, suggesting we could see a quick recovery in housing market activity when the current restrictions on movement end.
“Before the Coronavirus crisis hit, we were experiencing the strongest spring market for several years and this research suggests that demand has not yet melted away. But considering the main concern for movers is falling house prices, picking up the pieces of an existing move may require a renegotiation of the price along the chain and for some parties, particularly those who have had their incomes reduced, that move could become unviable.
“Until activity resumes it will be difficult to predict the full impact on volumes and prices, but it’s encouraging to hear the determination of buyers and sellers to stick with their plans and progress their move as soon as possible. For now, the most important thing is that people follow the Government’s advice to stay at home and keep removers, homeowners and tenants safe.”