Those of you who are regular readers of our updates, will remember us mentioning our friendly behavioural economist Roger.
During the first lockdown, he was flying in the face of all the doom mongering media and their predictions for a long recession, and instead telling us we were all in for a huge rebound, following the pent-up demand, with everyone starting to spend again as lockdown eased.
As Roger often puts it himself, he is “…broadly right, the majority of the time…”, and certainly in property terms, it appears this was another of those occasions!
We are indeed in remarkable times – life changing, very sad, hopeful, frightening, unprecedented (in most people’s lifetime) – and all at the same time!
There are also an increasing number of positive stories staring to circulate; hope around vaccination, schools reopening (yes please!), holidays, and the economy rebounding.
The local property market (both Sales and Lettings) here in our beautiful part of the world are also experiencing unprecedented demand, and can be described with confidence by the word ‘vibrant’ (can you tell I have been helping with home schooling?) – so much so, that some new listings are attracting more than one buyer (six on one home!) who are ready willing and able to proceed, and we are receiving multiple applications on nearly all of the new lettings properties going live!
With all the uncertainty over what we can and can’t do during the latest lockdown, and the various rumours floating around over whether restrictions are going to be tightened or lifted, it’s easy to forget people still need somewhere to live.
In our lovely part of the world, the rental market is seeing huge numbers of people looking for a new home to rent. Indeed, just this week, within 48hrs of putting a couple of properties live on the market, we were inundated with over 70, yes 70, enquiries! (Needless to say, the properties were let the following day!)
Like all businesses, Mortgage lenders are having to adapt to new ways of working with Covid 19, and each has responded differently, altering the way in which they do business, or making changes to their product ranges and lending criteria.
Lenders have a duty to ensure they lend responsibly, and many have changed the amount they will lend to customers.
There are currently far fewer options when borrowing over 85% of the property value, and borrowing over 90% can be particularly challenging.
Some lenders have introduced family assisted mortgages, which are designed to help first time buyers, and could be a great option for some.
The threat of a further downturn in the economy, and borrowers potentially being unable to keep up repayments on their mortgage is obviously a concern for lenders, and this is a particular issue for customers who are applying for a mortgage and whilst on the furlough scheme.
Another national lockdown is in place, but this time round there are some significant differences to earlier in the year, and we are all trying to fathom out exactly what it means for each of us, and more importantly how it will impact our lives!
One of the big differences within the world of property is that, while we still had a small team in place throughout the first lockdown, looking after the hundreds of properties we manage for clients, we were unable to show people around the fabulous homes we have for sale and to rent, or indeed come out and give advice and guidance to those thinking about making a change, and wanting to buy, sell, rent or improve their home.
Some are fortunate enough to be deemed locals – lucky them! Some are clever enough to have worked out why it’s one of the best places in Britain to live (and work!). Some have yet to make the decision to start to enjoying one of England’s finest areas and call it home for themselves and their family.