What the roadmap means

What the roadmap means

As spring slowly makes its way into our collective consciousness it’s hard to shake the feeling now that things are getting better, and that we’re finally on the home stretch.

Whatever it may be that you’ve been dreaming about for the best part of a year, it’s likely that you’ll now be able to do just that come 21st of June, if not a little earlier.

To the audible relief of the entire country, the Prime Minister set out the government’s plans in Parliament to let us all know what life will look like across the next few months.

There was quite a lot to fit in – in all fairness, given how strict lockdown measures have been across the country since around October time and so there’s a fair bit of content to get through.

Despite the unprecedented nature of the last 12 months, the property market, landlords and investors had a very good year in terms of price rises, demand, and yields, to the surprise of some.

Only last week figures were released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showing that in north west England, for example, house prices rose by more than 8% year-on-year.

That being said, the unlocking of the economy will have broad effects across the board, so we’ll take a look at what they mean.

The roadmap

The roadmap has been designed to be carried out in four stages, with four tests per stage that need to be met before the following stage can commence as the government attempt to ensure that this will be the last lockdown.

Stage one will see, on the 8th March, all schools re-opening for students at once. University students won’t be able to return unless they need to physically attend, and wraparound childcare will return. People will also be able to meet one other person from another household for recreation outdoors.

Stage two would see, no earlier than 29th March, people allowed to meet outside in parks and gardens either as two households or the ‘rule of six’. Outdoor sports will return, such as golf, and weddings with up to six people can return.

Stage three would, no earlier than 12th April, see all shops opening along with pubs and restaurants for outdoor dining. Gyms, spas, and hairdressers could also open along with indoor children’s play areas and zoos and theme parks.

Stage Four, no earlier than 17th, would allow people to eat and drink indoors in pubs and restaurants and most other restrictions would be lifted and crowds could attend performances and sports in limited numbers.

No earlier than 21st June would see all remaining restrictions lifted.

The economy and property

What’s the likely effect of the roadmap then?

The consensus view seems to be that this gradual re-opening will encourage a huge economic recovery across the year that would look something like the mythical V-shaped recovery spoken about by Andy Haldane of the Bank of England.

If that’s the case, it’s expected that jobs and wealth will be created on a large-scale providing people with much more income and disposable income.

Given what we already know about the property market, in that 2020 saw a huge rise in demand due to changing priorities, it’s safe to imagine that such an economic bounce would have a stimulus effect on the housing market too.

With more wealth and income, this allows more people to upgrade their living situation, and with fewer looking to buy given the deposit restrictions, this would mean good news for landlords and property investors alike.

There seems to be growing evidence that landlords and investors already started growing their portfolios across last year regardless, and this year could see that accelerate further, so now could well be the time to join that sentiment.

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