Will property bounce back?


As the country emerges from lockdown everyone is hoping that the recovery will be swift, that normal life will return as quickly as possible, and we can resume our lives. Over the past few months more than half of the world’s population have been confined to their homes to combat the spread of Covid-19. The longer the confinement has gone on, the more people have been able to reflect on what they like and dislike about their homes. With lockdown easing, will the Property Market bounce back as people surge to satisfy their new needs?

According to Rightmove early signs show that the English property market is bouncing back. This means estate agents are now conducting in-person house viewings again and buyers are able to move home once more. Rightmove says traffic to its website returned to pre-lockdown levels on the day the market reopened, with 5.2 million visitors.

Since the Government reopened the property market last month, home-hunters have sprung into action and England is getting moving again. Their latest research shows that 40,000 new sales have been agreed since the market resumed on 13th May. The property listing platform recorded their 10 busiest ever days in May and June, with home-movers spending over 955,000 hours collectively online on 6th June. It remains to early to tell If this initial bounce will last, but Rightmove’s statistics cover 95% of the market do indicate far more resilience than had been expected.

London seems to be showing the most promising signs of life, as the virus moved more swiftly through the capital it is hoped the recovery will be faster too. Andy Shepherd, CEO of Dexters in London, said: “We’re tremendously busy across all of our 70 London offices. Transactions numbers are increasing daily, over the past two weeks we’ve agreed sales on over 250 properties and arranged lettings on over 600, so 85 a day or 10 an hour in the working week. Immediately before lockdown we’d seen the best market for five years.”

It’s not clear is the market across the rest of the country will recover as swiftly. The Scottish government has announced plans to reopen the property market, with First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon confirming that restrictions on home moves will be eased from Monday 29th June. So as yet, north of the border remains an unknown quantity.

When it comes to more up-to-date information, the picture remains unclear. Rightmove released its monthly asking price index without a headline figure in April and May, as it said there were too few properties being listed to provide a calculation. Whether these positive signs herald a strong, lasting recovery, much like house prices it is too early too tell.

-David Patterson, Account Manager, Innesco

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