How Lockdown Has Affected the Property Market
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the whole world in 2020 and of course that includes the property market too! At the start of the lockdown people were understandably concerned about the repercussions for both buyers and sellers and we know lots of customers faced a worrying time having to put sales and purchases on hold. However since lockdown has lifted and we were able to open our doors again we have actually found that things are just as busy as ever. So, in our new normal, what are the changes to the housing market that you need to know about and how could they affect you?
Stamp Duty Holiday
One of the biggest positives for buyers is that the Chancellor has announced that Stamp Duty is on hold for properties under £500k. This is fantastic news for first time buyers, people looking for family properties or older retirees who want to downsize. Stamp Duty can take up a sizeable amount of your property budget so this means that buyers will have more money to spend - and vendors of smaller properties will find that their homes are snapped up by buyers eager to take advantage of the break which runs until spring 2021.
Green Spaces and Gardens
Surviving lockdown in a flat was definitely hard work for many people and we had lots of customers who vowed that as soon as it was over they would be seeking to move to a property with outdoor space. Not only that but countryside surroundings, access to walks and local parks have also become a priority – especially for families with young children or pets. This means that we have seen a boom in people looking to move out from London to the Hertfordshire suburbs where we have plenty of green space on offer. If you are looking to sell then now could be the ideal time to spruce up your garden and show potential buyers that your property can offer them the perfect outdoor space.
2020 was definitely the year when everything went virtual! From Zoom meetings to Google classrooms the whole of society went online. Of course the Estate Agency industry was also leading the way by offering prospective buyers virtual viewings. These meant that people didn’t have to risk leaving their homes in order to have a look around any properties that they were interested in buying or renting. These online viewings have been very popular with customers and we think that they are here to stay. Even post-Covid they will be invaluable for people who are looking to relocate and therefore can’t easily travel to viewings, and for people whose busy lifestyle means that they will value the ability to view a property at a time which is convenient to them.
Home Working and Home Offices
Lockdown saw a revolution in the way that we work with over 50% of the workforce being advised to work from home. Whilst this was great for work/life balance it wasn’t so easy for those who didn’t have a viable working space at home. That’s why we are seeing lots of people looking for a home with space which will work well as a home office or study. This could be a purpose built room, a spare bedroom or even a garden office! As many people will be working from home for the foreseeable future this is fast becoming a must have on many of our client’s property tick-lists. Whilst the way we work may have changed our passion for property hasn’t.
The Wrights team are still here to help you with all of your property needs. All of our branches in Hatfield, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City are now open, or if you want to stay at home, you can call us or chat online.