As the second wave of Covid19 affects lives, Durrants MD Dominic Parravani looks at what it augurs for the property market.
One thing that has proved to be resistant to Covid-19 is the property market, which has fed off the pandemic. If anything the spring lockdown acted as an incubation period for the market, as Coronavirus fuelled people’s desire to move to larger homes, often in more relaxed locations.
Now we are moving into hopefully a shorter second lockdown the question is, what will happen to this bull market?
The answer seems clear. Whilst we all know that these conditions can’t last forever, the early signs are that these second-wave precautionary measures will only act to fan the flames of the current market.
We understand now that during lockdown would-be buyers weren’t idle. Far from it; they were actively watchful. Once lockdown ended these buyers, armed with knowledge, stimulus and the freedom to act, broke out. The market became a feeding frenzy. Now, just as the national lockdown acted as an incubation period, the latest round of measures should do so again. But this time there will be added stimuli.
Completion by Christmas is often the aim when buying or selling property in the autumn. But now there is another target date: March 31st. This is the day the stamp duty relaxation measure is due to end. Buyers will be racing to complete purchases by then to avoid extra expense – money they could use for a deposit or for improvements to their new home.
Of course the Chancellor may postpone the cut-off date, or best of all discontinue the unpopular and opportunistic windfall tax altogether. But if he does neither strap yourself in – it’s going to be a hectic five months.
If there is one thing we learned how to do during the initial lockdown it was to work successfully in a highly unusual and demanding property market. Now we will take that experience and do so again, making sure that our buyers and sellers can move, not just when they want to but also when they need to.