UK property market still a safe-haven for investors

08 May 2020

UK property market Despite the current lockdown measures in place, the UK property market continues to rally behind the scenes. With today’s technological advancements, investors can use this period of lockdown to “get their ducks in a row,” reports 

Activity in the property market slowed drastically during the first quarter of 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic brought global economic activity to an almost-standstill. However, the housing market has already seemingly gained momentum as people and businesses are maneuvering their way around the lockdown restrictions to keep activity going at a solid pace. 

Furthermore, a number of property investors are capitalizing on this time to delve deeper into their property research and investments. Buying agent Hannah Aykroyd said that the majority of property searches can take between 2-6 months. Investors should use this time to conduct research, in such a way that activity performs as usual after measures are lifted. 

“Rather than feeling stuck or helpless, this time can be used fruitfully by buyers and sellers to get their ducks in a row,” she says.
The coronavirus lockdown has significantly slowed the buying and selling process. Building sites have been shut down or have slowed their production, while physical property viewings have been banned entirely. However, a number solutions to these impediments have been found, in order to keep property market activity and investment afloat. 

Last week, a number of building sites resumed their production, with more returning to work since then, restarting activity in the construction sector.  Virtual viewings have also been offered to several buyers, sellers and tenants. Prospective buyers, agencies and businesses are getting acclimatized to the modern tech-driven viewing system, with many firmly believing that this will continue to be used even after lockdown measures are lifted. 

Focusing mainly on prime central London, Aykroyd noted that: “Indeed, we have currently been submitting blind cash offers on behalf of key investors we have worked with previously and are negotiating firmly to secure an excellent deal for them.

“Our investor clients in particular are often comfortable to buy sight unseen or on the basis of a video, so while virtual viewings are not a market-wide panacea they can be helpful,” she says.

Mortgage lending had also initially taken a hit, with several lenders confiscating their products or restricting their capacity. However, products are once again now becoming available for borrowers, meaning that the market still has several opportunities available for those who wish to secure borrowing. Numerous lending institutions are now utilizing online or digital processes, including mortgage valuations. Similarly, estate agents and companies are handling most of their paperwork online. These new tech-driven solutions have allowed for the property market to remain firmly on its feet, even while the global health crisis ensues. 

Investment in the UK property market is one of the top choices for investors, as it offers an arguable less volatile option than stock markets. Investing in British property provides investors with a number of benefits, including getting their hands on a physical asset, and acquiring return investment from both rental income and capital appreciation. 

Chief executive and founder of BrikkApp Jan Vacerka believes that past events such as the “Boris Bounce” are evidence that the property market will pick up significantly once this is all over, and in the meantime, remains a safe-haven for investors. 

“SARS and H1N1 both caused short-term volatility in the real estate market, but the market stabilised within three to six months in each case. Even in disaster scenarios such as the current one, real estate remains relatively stable and will continue to be one of the best places to invest in,” he says. 

Vacerka echoes the fact that property remains “one of the safest forms of investment during these difficult times.

“Crisis changes things: With every crisis, society shifts to become more productive. This is the same within any industry. Economic crises tend to have long-lasting effects on the way people approach decision-making,” he adds.