We have seen a varied response from agents and buyers to the recent lockdown and what it ultimately comes down to is a buyer's motivation to move.
Some agents have furloughed a large proportion of their staff in the anticipation of a steep decline in viewings and listings, other agents are full steam ahead and anticipating a bumper end to the year with buyers trying to secure a property in time to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.
Lockdown #1 started on March 23 and lasted 48 days until May 10 when easing of the restrictions began. Listings dropped 85% as can be seen on our Market Pulse.
We can get an early glimpse of what might happen in England from the Welsh market which went into a firebreak lockdown on October 23. The 15-day Welsh lockdown resulted in listings declining 33% to date - not as bad as lockdown #1.
We feel the second lockdown won’t be as bad as the first. A key difference is that viewings were prohibited in the last lockdown, whereas in Wales in the firebreak lockdown they were allowed and in England they are currently allowed.
In addition, we have the stamp duty holiday which is encouraging keen buyers to get on and bid, saving themselves up to £15,000 in stamp duty and finally we can see the end of the tunnel and the experience in the property market is that all activity was delayed by lockdown, not stopped, resulting in a post lock-down bonanza.
With all this in mind we think the “in-lockdown” period won’t be as bad, and the “post-lockdown" period will be great.
Solicitors are still incredibly stretched and with a good number of properties being agreed getting the backlog to exchange is requiring a lot of chasing.
If you are a keen seller we would recommend you get your property ready to go onto the market in the next 2-3 weeks so that you can take advantage of a good end to the year if that's the way it goes.
If the market isn't looking so positive you can hold off until early January and be ready to be the first to list your property in the New Year which looks very likely to be a strong month.
Have a great rest of your Sunday.
The Movewise Team.