The Covid-19 pandemic has hit all industries hard; in 2020 the property market was closed for more than two months and the impact it had on the general public and the economy at large was unprecedented. Thankfully, in May 2020, the markets were reopened and have since been propping up the British economy.
Thanks to Government schemes like furlough and primarily the Stamp Duty Holiday, the property industry has received a much-needed boost and we have seen property transactions at record highs.
A change of scenery
We have had a nationwide lockdown for the best part of a year now, and this extended period of time staying home has made many people take a once in a lifetime evaluation of their living situation.
If you were thinking about moving home but were put off by interest rates and the Stamp Duty Land Tax costs, 2020 was a pretty good year to make your move with savings of up to £15,000 on your property purchase.
There has been a deluge of people looking to cash in on their City apartments in favour of more space in the commuter belt. Not to mention those people who have decided to move home instead of undertaking refurbishments and extensions to make their homes more comfortable.
The economic uncertainty brought on by Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic was not enough to stop people from making their moves. In fact, property transactions in the second half of 2020 were on par with pre-pandemic numbers. The luxury property market remained robust as people looked to escape the Cities to take up residence in greener areas where they would get more for their money.
The fact that Brexit and the pandemic occurred concurrently means there is a blurring of what actual impact the pandemic has had on the property market but we expect to see a slowing in the market as the Government sets out it’s plans for the recovery period. While borrowing looks plentifully available at the time of writing, the end of the Stamp Duty Holiday (deadline 31st March 2021, no extension announced at time of writing) and potential for a rise in unemployment might see the markets slow as we enter 2022.
As previously mentioned, throughout the Brexit saga and the pandemic, the property market has shown a great deal of resilience in the face of adversity. It is likely that this will continue, with the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine to people of working age, confidence is sure to return to the markets making borrowing more accessible and encouraging people to make their moves rather than ‘waiting it out’ which is the attitude we saw during the early Brexit negotiation period.