The Coronavirus pandemic has quite clearly had a significant impact on the social and economic situation in the UK, but as we slowly emerge from lockdown, what could the short- and long-term consequences for the housing market be?
Whilst the virus is still a threat and social distancing rules remain, we expect several things to change. Whether these changes will become permanent is difficult to say, but some are a welcomed improvement on how things were before.
Our panel Mortgage advisers SRC Mortgages give us some insight into possible changes that are to come post lockdown.
Many new build developers are using technology to help market their properties. Virtual viewings allow clients to get a feel of the property prior to arranging a physical viewing. This has many advantages for both buyer and seller and will certainly save a lot of wasted time.
In the short term, the viewing process is likely to be more structured than before. Viewing ‘Open Days’ where multiple buyers would all view the same property at the same time, will be a thing of the past, as will property shows and exhibitions.
The second-hand market may be a little slower to adopt some of the new technology and there could possibly be extra precautions to take into consideration when visiting a seller's home. In the longer term, however, we anticipate the transaction process becoming much more streamlined.
At SRC we have already begun the process of redesigning our mortgage advice process to online platforms. Instead of inviting clients to our London office for a face-to-face interview, we will now offer people the choice to conduct their interviews online.
For us, the current crisis has simply accelerated the roll-out of procedures that we were planning to take online.
Using online technology will greatly improve the client experience and allow interviews to be conducted at a time and place convenient for both parties.
The facility to upload and download documents, electronic signatures and remote ID checking all lend themselves to a new way of transacting business.
Understandably the housing market has suffered serious disruption from the lockdown. When the market re-opened, we were not at all surprised to receive a surge in new enquiries. Several weeks on and the numbers have now reduced to the levels we were receiving pre-crisis.
It is possible that property demand may reduce in the coming months, especially given the economic uncertainty, but we remain confident that the long-term outlook is still strong.
As we enter the "new normal", it may be possible to view a property, arrange your mortgage and complete the purchase, all without any physical interaction. Whether that is a good thing or not, is for you to decide.
Find a home with Peabody
Whether during lockdown or as we enter into a new normal post lockdown, Peabody still continue to provide great quality Private and Shared Ownership homes. We currently offer virtual viewings to buyers, and our high quality 360 walkthrough spaces give you an immersive experience of what our homes have to offer. Once you are ready to purchase, our team are always on hand to guide you through the whole process.FIND A HOME