How is a Third National Lockdown Affecting the UK Property Market?
Where the UK’s property market is concerned, there is one major difference between the current lockdown and the lockdown of spring 2020.
While there may be major complications with property transactions now, the market is still technically open.
This is much different than last year’s initial lockdown, where the market in its entirety was completely closed.
Property transactions can still take place under current lockdown regulations, but the whole process calls for a more strategic and well-planned approach.
Can I Still Buy or Sell a Property?
Not only is buying and selling homes still a possibility under current lockdown restrictions, but there has also been a major surge in real estate activity over the past couple of months. This is largely due to the impending deadline of the Stamp Duty holiday which ends March 31st.
With buyers across the country scrambling to ensure they benefit from the potentially huge discounts available, the real estate market remains a hive of activity – even during these difficult times.
From valuations, to visits and meetings with solicitors and estate agents, the industry is indeed open for business, however, to say that it is ‘business as usual’ would be inaccurate, as there are major differences in how activities are taking place compared to the usual norms.
What Kinds of Restrictions do I Need to Be Aware of?
Primarily, restrictions affecting the real estate industry concerned the additional precautions that need to be taken when conducting the usual inspections, meetings and surveys. Examples of which include:
- At all times, all participants taking part in property inspections must stay 2m away from each other.
- Though not a formal legal requirement, experts insist that wearing masks should be considered mandatory during all meetings and inspections for all participants.
- The current occupants of the property should (if possible) vacate the home a minimum of 30 minutes before the arrival of those visiting it.
- Keeping all windows and doors open to reduce the risk of virus transmission through the circulation of fresh air.
- All surfaces and door handles should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after every visit to reduce the risk of surface transmission.
- Under no circumstances should meetings or visits be conducted if any participant or current occupants of the property display signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
- Real estate agents, surveyors and others who are conducting meetings and surveys must take responsibility for reminding both visitors and occupants to follow all applicable social distancing guidelines.
These and other restrictions are likely to apply for the foreseeable future, even after current lockdown restrictions are eased.
Will the Restrictions Delay the Purchase Process?
It is perfectly possible that the current complications that the sector is facing could result in delays in completing property sales and purchases and it is advisable to allow additional time and to factor potential delays into your plans.
For more information on any of the above or to discuss property transactions under lockdown restrictions in more detail, contact a member of the team at UK Property Finance today.