Buying And Selling A House During The Coronavirus

Posted on: 1 May 2020

One thing we can all agree on is that we all feel a bit uncertain. The property market may be on hold, yet there is one thing we can all be certain about - now is the perfect time to lay the groundwork for moving home later this year.

Here at Castles Estate Agents, we are experts on property in Swindon. So, to help you put your mind at rest, we've looked deeper into the effects the coronavirus will bring to movers, to help you get ahead of the game. To find out more about our properties, or the valuations we can provide on your current property, please get in touch with a member of the team today on 01793 611677.

How Will The Property Marketing Be Affected During 2020?
At the start of the year, following December's general election, we saw an increase in sales by more than 12%. Though now the market is experiencing a significant slowdown, with UK residents told to stay at home and put any movers on hold.

So, of course, no matter whether you're buying or selling, you'll be wondering how this slow down will affect the property market. Experts have said that this could result in house sales plunging by as much as 60% in the second quarter of the year, compared to the same period in 2019.

What Does This Do To Housing Prices?
One of the most reliable barometers of housing prices is the Land Registry's UK House Price Index.

The latest data goes up to February 2020. The index shows that property prices have fallen by 0.6% compared to the previous month, but have grown by 1.1% year-on-year to reach an average of £230,332.

Of course, this timeframe isn't wholly useful in terms of predicting how the Coronavirus will impact housing prices, but with that in mind, we're unlikely to be completely sure of the effect the virus will have on prices for at least a couple of months.

Will The Coronavirus Affect Housing Prices?
As mentioned above, it is too early to be able to give an exact amount that the outbreak will have on the property market.

In the short term, it's very likely that the house price growth will stagnate as there will be fewer transactions. Though, we were shown during Brexit that the UK property market is very robust, so it is very unlikely that housing prices will completely crash over the next couple of months.

It has been forecast that UK prices could fall by 3% this year, then come back a further 5% in 2021.

What If You Are Currently In The Process Of Moving?
Remember, everyone is feeling uncertain and those who are in the process of moving are feeling this even more so, as they are faced with the uncertainty as to whether their deal will go through.

The government has urged people who have yet to exchanged contracts to put their plans on hold. Though they do understand that some agreements may simply be too far down the line to pause.

Following government guidelines, people should only continue their purchases now if they're moving into a vacant property. If the property is currently occupied, all parties should do all they can to arrange alternative moving dates to a time where lockdown measures are relaxed.

There is however an exemption for critical moves in the event where a new date can't be arranged. In these instances, social distancing rules should be observed.

How Will Coronavirus Affect Your Mortgage?
You may be relieved to hear; we have good news. Now is an excellent time to get a mortgage as, now, mortgage rates are incredibly low. We have access to, in our opinion the best mortgage advisors in Swindon to give you up to date mortgage advice.

How Are Lenders Helping Homeowners?
The government has announced that any homeowners which are affected by the Coronavirus will be able to benefit from mortgage repayment holidays of up to three months.

Borrowers who have found themselves worrying about financial hardship have been advised to contact their lender directly to discuss their options, which will likely include temporary deferring interest payments, extending the term of the mortgage or moving to an interest-only basis for a short period.

Of course, we can't influence how the housing market is affected due to the Coronavirus, nor can we influence the property journey you choose. As estate agents, we are here to simply give you the advice you need and help you get your property sold as quickly and efficiently as we can and government advice allows.

Here at Castles, we have proudly supported thousands of people selling their properties and can offer our expert advice and market experience to help you continue your journey on the property ladder.

If you are considering selling or buying property, be sure to give us a call on 01793 611677 and speak to one of our qualified, experienced estate agents about selling your home in Swindon. We'll be more than happy to give you further advice.


In the meantime, stay safe, stay at home and thank you to all the key workers and NHS for all they do.


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