It could mean there is good news for potential house buyers, with analysts predicting there will be bargains on the market as it begins to recover from the pandemic crisis, as well as the possibility of a stamp duty holiday to entice buyers back.
It is unknown yet whether prices will fall, by how much, and how long for once the restrictions have been eased, but this depends more on wider economic factors, especially the scale of job losses.
Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside said support from banks and the Government in the coming months will be crucial. He stated that interest rates must be kept low, and banks should be prevented from repossessing houses from those who fall into arrears, to avoid a ‘fire sale’.
The industry has had a further boost due to a report for the Government by Conservative peer Lord Gadhia and Sir Jonathan Symonds, chairman of GlaxoSmithKline. The report suggests a limited re-opening of commercial activities maintaining appropriate social distancing until a vaccine is widely available within the next 12 to 18 months.
The property bounce what began in the new year, following years of uncertainty surrounding Brexit, has been wiped out by the pandemic.
Mr Shipside said: “Given the lockdown and pausing of key activities in the housing market, statistics on the number of properties coming to market, new seller asking prices, and new sales agreed are not meaningful.
“You do not have a functioning market when buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell.”
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