Further Shifts In Buyer Behaviour Post-Lockdown

21st July 2020 posted in

With new things to consider every week in the housing market, it is no surprise buyers are changing their mind on what matters most to them. A study from one of the leading property portals in the UK offers insight into what buyers are looking for.

The Rightmove study provided the following results:

•                     Having access to a garden or having a larger garden was cited by 63% of respondents

•                     A large home was requested by 43% of respondents

•                     Living closer to parks and green spaces, mentioned by 31% of respondents

•                     Living in a rural area, opted for by 30% of respondents

•                     Living closer to friends and family members, said by 24% of respondents

•                     Living closer to non-essential amenities, was cited by 15% of respondents

•                     Living closer to essential local services, raised by 13% of respondents

This comes hot on the heels of RICs saying estate agents enjoyed a boost in activity in June. RICs said the balance of agents reporting an increase in buyer demand shot up to +61%, up from -7% in May.

There is a range of opinions on what happens next in the housing market

A series of estate agents and property websites have reported strong demand to buy homes since the suspension of housing market lockdown measures in May, however, there is continuing concern over the longer-term impact of the sharp decline in UK economic output on the market.

While it is pleasing to learn of many estate agents and websites enjoying a busy period of activity since the housing market, there is some concern as to whether will be a longer-term decline in the housing market.

The Bank of England is cautious about what comes next

The Bank of England has tipped a contraction of 14% in GDP, which if it transpires will be the sharpest single year fall for hundreds of years.

Simon Rubinsohn is the RICS’s chief economist, and he believed the market is currently enjoying a “short term bounce following ending of the lockdown”.

Simon said: “However, there are worrying signs that this rebound may quickly run out of steam against the backdrop of a tightening in lending criteria by mortgage providers, and the uncertain macro environment particularly with regard to the employment picture. Respondents to the survey highlight both of these issues in explaining the broadly flat picture regarding sales expectation beyond the immediate uplift.”

Simon made these comments before the stamp duty holiday was introduced. While there has been support for the measures introduced by the Chancellor, there isn’t universal backing for the approach.

Will Scoular is the Head of Private Client Lending at Investec, and he said: “We must be cautious that the removal of the support in March next year could cause transaction volumes to stall again, creating somewhat of a delay in the impact of the crisis unless permanent reform is introduced. Meanwhile, unchanged stamp duty rates for homes worth more than £500,000 will continue to put the brakes on transactions and reduce the overall tax take.”

At Hunters Forest Hill, we know selling property is challenging, but we are here to assist you in the process. If you aim to buy, sell, let your home or rent property, we are active in New Cross, Peckham, Dulwich and Brockley, in addition to Forest Hill, so get in touch with one of the top three agents in London, and we will be happy to assist you.