The UK housing market will remain open during the lockdown, allowing property viewing to continue and people to move out. This is in stark contrast to the first foreclosure, which saw the market halt for seven weeks.
Realtors and other staff will continue to perform their jobs while adhering to coronavirus guidelines, such as wearing face coverings and social distancing.
Tomer Aboody of bridge loan specialist MT Finance said: “We believe that the market will not be disrupted as it was last year because the end is in sight, thanks to the roll-out of the vaccination program.
“This, together with the fact that appraisers and lawyers can still work and there is still access to properties, should boost confidence in the market as a whole. Borrowers, in turn, will feel more confident in completing their transactions. “
Government guidelines for the move remain the same, including:
- Initial visits should be made virtually whenever possible
- Members of the public visiting an agent’s office or touring property should wear appropriate face coverings, unless they are exempt from this requirement. This must be confirmed with the agent prior to arrival. Anyone with concerns should contact the agent prior to their visit to discuss appropriate action.
- Visits must be organized by appointment only and “open house” visits must not take place. When visiting properties in person, you should avoid touching surfaces as much as possible, wash your hands regularly, and / or use hand sanitizer. If you must be with young children, you should try to prevent them from touching surfaces and make sure they wash their hands regularly.
Industry calls for extended stamp duty holiday
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in July last year that for residential properties in England and Northern Ireland buyers would not have to pay property tax (SDLT) on the first £ 500,000 of the purchase price until March 31, 2021.
In Wales and Scotland the first £ 250,000 of the transaction value is exempt from property tax until the same date.
However, there are fears that the end of the SDLT holiday will cause the housing market to decline after March, with some industry experts calling for an extension of the deadline.
Mr Aboody said: “What this lockdown means is that the stamp duty holiday will have to be extended, if not made permanent. The Chancellor must review the deadline, in light of this unexpected lockdown. stamp duty holiday should be either postponed or removed from the agenda for the time being, in order to avoid any further shutdown or disruption to the already struggling economy. “
David Hannah of real estate tax consultancy Cornerstone Tax suggests that more should be done to help first-time buyers access the real estate ladder and give more security to the housing market: or change the date of payment of taxes so that buyers can still enjoy the holidays even if they cannot complete before March 31.
“The most preferable option would be a phasing out of vacations, to prevent those who are currently buying their properties from essentially being thrown onto the edge of a cliff.”
Situation in Scotland
New foreclosure regulations in Scotland state that you should only leave your home for a reasonable excuse. This includes: “moving or undertaking activities relating to the maintenance, purchase, sale, rental or rental of residential property that the person owns or is otherwise responsible for”.
Whenever possible, people, including those in the real estate industry, should be working from home until at least the end of January.
The market goes digital
Many real estate agents have stepped up or introduced innovative methods to carry out day-to-day operations to accommodate social distancing measures, such as live auctions and virtual viewings.
Utsav Goenka of VYOMM, a real estate portal for sellers, said: “There is no doubt that buyers and sellers want to do more digital and limit physical meetings to those that are essential. Unfortunately, most real estate agents have little to offer beyond virtual tours, which, while welcome, are only partially and occasionally useful.
“The industry needs a completely different level of clearance where sellers can appoint agents who can market and sell homes effectively, without requiring repeated physical exposure to each other. “