The recent news of further restrictions across the UK will have a knock on effect on the property market, according to Ross Counsell, chartered surveyor and director at Good Move.
Counsell said: “The recent news will undoubtedly cause further worry for buyers. Moreover, with the furlough scheme soon coming to an end, and predicted job losses, protecting their finances will be at the top of buyers’ minds.”
Good Move anticipates that buyers will still continue to take full advantage of the stamp duty holiday to save them money.
However, while the deadline of March is still six months away, buyers will need to purchase a property before Christmas in order to ensure they have enough time for completion ahead of the deadline.
Counsell said: “The new restrictions may delay the time it takes for everything to go through, therefore the more time buyers give themselves to prepare, the better.
“Moreover, we also advise buyers to speak with a financial advisor to help guide them through the house buying process.
“Using a financial advisor and their expertise will ensure buyers get the best possible mortgage for their circumstances at the best possible rate which in turn, will protect their assets.
“During these unprecedented times, buyers should do their research before purchasing a property instead of putting an offer on the first home they see. Price, location, and space are the three important factors buyers should consider when looking to buy a property.”
Looking to the seller’s side of the market, Counsell said: “Average house prices are on the up due to the recent surge in activity; however, as we know, they will soon start to decrease.
“Moreover, the unemployment rate is predicted to hit 7.4 percent this year, so buying a home may soon be the last thing on many people’s minds, especially once the furlough scheme ends.
“Sellers must remember that today, many buyers do their research before purchasing a property and they’re up to date on local asking prices/what others have paid for similar properties so are unlikely to go above the asking price.
“Therefore, if people are serious about selling, we advise working with a chartered surveyor to offer advice on the value and condition of their property to ensure the asking price is right.
“After all, starting with too high an asking price can cause delays, and make it less likely for sellers to find a buyer.”
Counsell added that through technology, estate agents are increasingly able to offer digital and virtual viewings of properties.
As restrictions on house viewings can be put in place at any time, the ability to view properties digitally can speed up the process of both buying and selling.
He said: “If buyers are uneasy about visiting a property they are interested in, luckily, they can view online which is good news for sellers.
“However, if this is the case, we would consider sellers taking their own photographs of their property for the estate agent to use to ensure they’re capturing the best possible angles to make their property look visually appealing to buyers.”