Lockdown easing delay – Will this affect the housing market?

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Lockdown easing delay – Will this affect the housing market?

Following the news that there will be a lockdown easing delay, many industries are adapting once more. As the country continues to react to the announcement from Prime Minister, the uncertainty remains across every industry. During a press conference at Downing Street, Boris Johnson confirmed the measures will be reviewed after two weeks. Although a further extension was not ruled out, hope remains for restrictions to be lifted sooner rather than later as MPs await their vote.

The property market is still experiencing a boom as movers race to complete their transactions. With the fast-approaching deadline of the stamp duty holiday, many moves hang in the balance. Professionals remain concerned about a potential cliff edge, as numerous purchases will fall through without the savings afforded from the tax break. With this uncertainty also a primary concern in the market, many are considering what the lockdown easing delay could mean for their clients.

How will the delay in lifting lockdown restrictions affect buyer demand?

As we are all aware, the lockdown restrictions caused thousands to re-evaluate what they wanted from their homes. As the rules meant we had to stay indoors, work from home, and even home-school our children, many of us were propelled to make a change. Combined with the stamp duty holiday, the drive to move has been sustained since the market re-opened in July 2020. When the lifting of restrictions completes, we can live our lives with more freedom than we have had in 18 months. This could lead buyer demand to subside and relieve some of the pressure on the market.

What does the lockdown easing delay mean for local authority searches?

Throughout the pandemic, one of the biggest causes of delays in the conveyancing process is local authority searches. Due to the restrictions in place, many councils have not had the same access to the information that they did before the outbreak. As the lockdown easing delay remains uncertain, concerns are being heard in the industry. Some movers have faced delays of several weeks which has had a considerable impact on their completion timescale. When these restrictions are lifted, conveyancers hope to see an improvement in turnaround times for local authority searches. This will lead to an upturn in the process and help the industry get back on track.

Do you think the lockdown easing delay will impact the market?

As the lockdown restrictions remain in place, the likelihood is that we will see a continuation of current market conditions. The market remains busy, with buyers eager to beat the stamp duty holiday deadline. The lockdown easing delay will not help local authorities that are inundated with search requests. However, the light remains at the end of the tunnel as the delay will be reviewed in the coming weeks.

What do you think the delay in lifting lockdown restrictions will afflict on the market? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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