The Housing Market has been given a shot in the arm today and been told that it can resume once more, as long as strict safety measures are implemented.
As reported on the BBC, “Estate agents can open, viewings can be carried out and removal firms and conveyancers can restart operations”.
It’s great that the Government has recognised the importance of the housing market to the wider UK economy, and many anxious buyers will be relieved that they can now continue with their transactions after weeks in limbo.
There is still a long way to go before we have a fully functional housing market once more, but this is a tentative first step in the right direction and cause for celebration.
The great unknown is how cautious surveyors will be with their valuations and lenders their criteria but that will become apparent in the days and weeks ahead.
Demand is certainly still there. We have received a lot more enquiries in May, with a mixture of people looking for a deal, desperate to carry on where they left off before lockdown, or looking to move to a bigger place with some outside space in case there is a future lockdown. It will be interesting to see how much of the pent up demand that has built up since the start of the year transfer into actual housing market activity.
The new government guidelines seem to be well thought out and it’s vital that all those working in the property industry, as well as buyers and sellers, landlords and tenants, are kept as safe as possible.
Clearly it’s essential that firms do not rush their staff back before they have the requisite safety measures in place, although all the agents we speak to are adhering to the very highest standards.
This is a chance for everyone in the housing market to show their professionalism and lead from the front.
There has already been loads of positivity creeping back into the housing market and it is important we all focus on this and ensure everyone else does too.
Lenders have been returning to the fold, adapting their AVM and desktop valuation policy and increasing product availability once more which is great. It’s also been excellent to see Specialist lenders coming back too which is much needed.
Whilst we have all been praising lenders on their formidable efforts during this time, which we are thankful for, we are now looking at all the new policies and Covid related criteria which is coming out.
There are some questions around furloughed workers, bonuses and the self-employed, and there is no doubt that some potential borrowers will find it harder whilst this all plays out.
This means that the advice of a broker is more crucial than ever in knowing which lender will be the best for a particular buyer.
In terms of mortgage rates, for standard residential mortgages, borrowers can obtain 2-year fixes at 1.19%, (3.18% APRC) and 5-year fixes from 1.41%, (2.66% APRC) whilst variable tracker rates are around from 1.24%, (3.59% APRC).
Those looking at Buy-To-Let can now obtain products from 1.19%, (4.55% APRC) for a 2-year fixed or 5-year fixes are available from 1.62% (3.77% APRC).
If you want to speak to any of our friendly, professional advisers you can contact us here.