£82bn of property waiting to complete

£82bn of property waiting to complete

It’s been a long few months by anybody’s estimation, and certainly for those of us working from home or with young children, but we recognise the necessity to stay indoors in order to protect ourselves, our loved ones and others.

That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a long slog so far with all eyes and attention turning to when we can start to return to some sort of normality, and it seems as though we may be approaching that point as we start to look towards summer months when we’d usually be spending the majority of our times outdoors, and property sales and activity may be hitting its peak.

There has been, of course, legitimate concern that essentially locking down the country may cause long-term damage to the economy and the market, however, if other European nations are anything to go by then we can expect the UK to start to return some type of ‘new normal’ within the next few weeks.

Europe, by and large, has been one of the worst hit areas in the world in this pandemic so far, but with the peak apparently passing us by, European governments are now starting to concentrate on how they get the engines of the economy moving again and there could hardly be a sector more important than property.

Paused property

One thing that has become increasingly apparent is that there will not be any significant collapse or even drop in property demand over this period, which is extraordinary given the circumstances.

Despite some initially dire predictions it seems like the property market as a whole has found itself somewhat incubated from the damage that other industries have been seeing.

This appears especially true for Buy-To-Let and for the Private Rented Sector (PRS) as demand continues to increase whilst supply fails to grow.

With that in mind, whilst the UK stays in lockdown there’s a real sense that, rather than any type of demand for PRS dropping, it’s merely been paused, waiting to be re-activated as and when the government declares it safe to do so.

If anything, there’s data supporting the idea that lockdown has even increased demand in the market whilst supply has been in an enforced state of delay. Those who had previously simply been considering moving home have now been provided with the motivation they were looking for.

That appears to have been lent further support with the news that £82 billion of property is waiting to be exchanged once lockdown restrictions are lifted. According to The Guardian, ‘Almost 400,000 home sales worth a total of £82bn have been put on hold as a result of the housing market lockdown’.

Zoopla added that the market was ‘in suspended animation’ with those sales – which may still complete later in the year – along with others agreed based on viewings that took place before 26th March, being placed on pause.

This, it is understood, will translate into a fairly swift recovery and then into growth later in the year as the fundamentals of the market remain broadly the same. The demand for rental property simply isn’t going to decrease regardless of economic circumstances and, if anything, economic shock is likely to increase whilst supply fails to increase in line.

This will more than likely mean that quite aside from £82 billion of property completing fairly quickly, it may pale insignificantly compared to the business that is completed afterwards.

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