This time last year, when many people were predicting what the housing market of 2020 would be like, not many people knew what was around the corner. At the start of the year, there was optimism for consistency in the market.
At the end of the year, there is more uncertainty than there has ever been. The B-word is still prevalent, but for now, many people are wondering if a vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic will be released, and whether this will change buyer activity in the property market.
Chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, Mark Hayward is cautious about what will happen in the 2021 housing market, especially if the stamp duty holiday ends abruptly. Hayward has regularly spoken out about the need to extend the holiday.
He said; “If people have made deals with the expectation of getting the break and then their completion date is delayed because the sector is overwhelmed by demand, those deals will be renegotiated, which will mean values drop. We’re estimating that up to 4,000 deals will be at risk, which will not be good news.”
UK housing market analyst Henry Pryor has also advised caution, saying; “I still think 2021 is going to be pretty miserable for London homeowners. Capital values will soften, even if by less than I thought earlier this year. It’ll be a good 12 months before we’re all confident that we’re immune to coronavirus and meanwhile a large proportion of people are going to be unemployed.”
Will a vaccine impact the London housing market?
While there is a range of opinions about a vaccine being made available in early 2021, there is no denying many people are looking for a degree of “normality” next year.
If a vaccine is provided, and it is successful, it is natural for people to question whether temporary changes will be discarded or will “the new normal” continue?
This is likely to impact the London housing market. If people can return to the office freely, the need for remote working will diminish. This means people will need to live closer to the heart of London, and this could see the demand for Inner and Outer London switch again.
There might not be a universal approach to office or remote working
However, many people believe there is no need for most people to return to working in the way they used to. For many professionals, remote working is likely to become commonplace. Of course, there might be a need for compromise, with fewer days in the office, but remote working not being the standard for every day.
In this regard, it is easy to see why a place like Hornchurch will be in greater demand. Located in Zone 6, the journey time from Hornchurch Tube Station to Tower Hill is around 40 minutes, and getting to and from the heart of London isn’t too trying.
Therefore, even if things revert back to what they were, people might decide that more space and a rural setting is better for them, which means demand for locations like Hornchurch will hopefully be sustained.
If you are keen to stay in touch with the local housing market, we can help. At Hunters Hornchurch, we are on hand to ensure you receive all the guidance you need in the local property market, and we are here to assist you.