1. London Estate agents / Enquiries / Sales
The British Government relaxed social distancing measures for Estate Agents in the UK.
This now means that viewings (banned since the start of Coronavirus restrictions) of properties for sale or rental are now allowed.
There was a massive surge in activity last week following the Government announcement on 11th May.
Tom Mundy, COO Goodlord stated “It’s a huge relief to know that property viewings and moves will be permitted once more from this week. The whole industry has been on hold, with demand in the rental market building up as a result, meaning this news will be music to the ears of letting agents and tenants”.
Jonathan Harper, CEO of Garrington Property Finders commented “Afterthoughts or an aftershock? It matters not. The eleventh-hour firing of the starting gun for Estate Agents will re-energise the property industry”.
Rightmove saw an immediate surge in enquiry levels which rose 70% as the market re-opened. 2000 + new properties were added to their website in the first five hours after the Government released the news.
Miles Shipside of Rightmove states that “we anticipate a further uplift in activity once agents have had time to adjust to the new social distancing guidance specific to the home moving sector”.
2. Low Interest Rates / Cheap Pound Sterling
The lowest interest rates in the history of the United Kingdom are now with us.
The current base rate is 0.1%. This has come down from 0.25% and now represents the lowest rate the market has ever seen.
Lenders are rapidly returning to the market place with some 15 banks actively offering mortgages to investment property purchasers. Contact GIHLondon mortgage desk for enquiries.
Rates are now highly competitive and can be as low as 1.69% which is the lowest we have ever seen. The Pound is now at 9.39 Hong Kong dollars to £1. One-pound buys 1.21 United States dollars.
With interest rates at an all-time low and £ Sterling remaining cheap to buy, the opportunities to enter London real estate has never been better.
3. London House Prices 2020/2021
Coronavirus has created an enforced activity stop on London investment purchases.
With the release of Estate Agents and buyers to view properties, activity has surged to 90% of pre-Coronavirus levels.
Zoopla predicts that “Our latest forecast is that completed sales will be 50% lower in 2020 than 2019, allowing for a proportion of stalled sales to complete and with a delay to sales that would have progressed”.
Most analysts believe that house prices will jump over 6% in 2021.
Knight Frank forecast +6% in London in 2021. Chestertons expect growth of 3 to 4 percent. Savills quote rises of 15% over the next 5 years.
Lloyds Bank on their optimistic forecast predicts house price growth of 6.8% in 2021 and another 6.8% in 2022.
Nationwide expect a sharp recovery in UK house prices.
Robert Gardner of Nationwide stated that “measures such as £330 bn in business support and the government’s job retention scheme could keep borrowing down and allow UK house prices to bounce back again”.
Rics state that in their April survey sales levels will rebound to their previous levels within 9 months.
The overall consensus is one of growth now. Given recent upheavals, it is now that we have a 6-month buying opportunity.