With the end of the COVID-19 lockdown in sight, should I prepare to sell now, or should I wait?

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With the end of the COVID-19 lockdown in sight, should I prepare to sell now, or should I wait?

By Mark Grantham –  1st June 2020

The start of the year saw a big release of pent-up demand after 3 to 4 years of Brexit uncertainty; the property market was in full swing, with some very high sale prices achieved. But the frenzy came to an abrupt stop towards the end of March, with a sudden halt in transactions due to the COVD-19 lockdown. Property sellers are keen to know what happens next? Will the usual “spring bounce” help kickstart the market? Or are we set for more uncertainty?

When forecasting changes to the property market, there are 3 main factors economists typically consider: mortgages, employment and consumer sentiment.

Will lenders continue to offer mortgages with long, fixed-term rates? The Bank of England base rate is at a record low of 0.1 per cent. For as long as mortgage lenders continue to offer mortgages at low rates with low deposits then buyers will be able to access money and homeowners can afford to keep up with their mortgage repayments.

What will happen to employment levels as we emerge from the lockdown? It’s difficult to know how many furloughed workers will return to employment. With such a dramatic loss in momentum to trade, will businesses have the cash (and confidence) to retain staff?

Consumer sentiment is difficult to predict at the moment, there are no numbers to base it on because economic activity has come to a grinding halt. Concerns about job security and an increased sense of uncertainty won’t help, but Governments around the world will be doing their best to stimulate the economy.

In the worst-case scenario, for market commentators who use the theory of economic cycles as the basis of their forecasts, a downturn is long overdue. But if there is a downturn in the economy it won’t just happen overnight. These changes usually pick up pace over time. So if you’re considering selling within the next 5 to 10 years, now could be the best time to sell.
Why not test the market at auction and let buyers decide what your property is worth. Request a free auction sale price estimate.

BBC News – a short window of opportunity for property sellers:
Coronavirus: ‘Short-lived’ rebound in house hunter demand

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