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HOW LONG WILL THE BUOYANT MARKET LAST?

I am sure you have thought the same over the last week or so, ‘houses seem to be flying off the shelf’.

You are right in your thoughts there are a lot of sold boards currently going up, which illustrates the housing market is strong. However, as the famous saying goes ‘looks can be deceiving’. Before coming with up the assumption all is well with the property market we have to consider the following

  • The market has been basically closed for three months so what percentage of these sales are backlog?
  • As we all know finding a buyer for a property is one thing, getting the transaction completed is another. This has always been the case in the industry, however early indications are the amount of sales that fall through may be higher than normal. The main reason for this is the buyer been unable to obtain a mortgage. There are a considerable amount of buyers who were granted a mortgage in principal pre-lockdown and are now looking to make an offer on a property they desire. Unfortunately, and you can understand why, due to covid-19 lenders have tightened their lending criteria significantly. Because of these unforeseen circumstances a high level of the agreement in principals will no longer qualify. For example, buyers who have a 5% deposit. Pre-Covid 19 if you had a 5% deposit there was a strong chance you would be able to obtain a mortgage subject to a strong credit score. However, now this is basically impossible. This is why if the estate agent selling the property is not on the ball at point of offer the house will be marked as ‘SOLD’ only to be re-listed later down the line.

Although some properties listed as sold will be eventually be relisted due to the reasons detailed above there will still be a level which will complete. With the recent changes in stamp duty experts predict a decent level of sales will continue to be agreed.

However, although the property market maybe buoyant the question is ‘how long is this going to last?’ The government are currently helping a significant number of people with the loss of their incomes due to Covid-19, for example the furlough scheme. But what is going to happen once the government remove the cushion?

Analysts predict there are going to be a significant number of people who are made redundant once the furloughing stops. Therefore, with unemployment rising it goes without saying the amount of people looking to move will decrease which in turn may affect the property market in a negative way.

Due to the point illustrated above If you are looking to sell your property the window of opportunity maybe now.  If you would like a Free Valuation contact us today on 03333 232 199. All our terms are on a no sale no fee basis and we only charge £800 on completion irrespective of value.

 

 

 

 

 

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ARE PAYMENT HOLIDAYS GOING TO BE EXTENDED FURTHER?

There are reports that the chancellor Rishi Sunak is currently working with the FCA and industry to help put further processes in place to extend mortgage payment holidays. These will apply to all those people who are still in financial difficulty because of the Coronavirus. Although a decision has not been made yet reports suggest the are looking at ways to continue support when it runs out at the end of June.

However, the importance of explaining the consequences of taking a payment holiday must by marked out in black and white according to a number of experts.

Martin Lewis ‘The Money Saving Expert’ explained last week ‘The FCA has confirmed, sadly, that while credit files shouldn’t be impacted by mortgage or other payment holidays, lenders are still allowed to take them into account when making their acceptance decisions.’

“It’s impossible to say yet how widespread this will be or how substantial the impact will be we’ll start to learn that over the next year. 

“Each lender’s assessment process is different, it’s a dark art that’s hidden from the public and never published, so this is likely to be yet another factor applicant’s will need to navigate.”

However, for a large percentage of people they have no option, due to the financial impact covid-19 has had on their personal circumstances and Mr Lewis did state that you should take the holiday if it is imperative due to cash flow reasons.

In regards to extending payment holidays the general consensus is that given the huge impact and downturn on the economy a further extension seems very sensible.

But there is no doubt this cannot go on forever and the government will need to devise a clear and dynamic strategy on how to bring this to a close.

If you were unaware of the option to take a payment holiday on your mortgage account, loans or any credit cards contact the respective lenders website. There you will find the relevant information on how to apply for the payment break.

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THEY ARE CALLING IT THE CORONA-COASTER

The new name given to the property industry is the ‘Corona Coaster’. The first set of figures have been released relating to property transactions in the UK since lockdown. There were just 55,381 residential sales completed in March with a huge number of solicitors confirming they did not complete one sale. In contrast to January where there were over 100,000 sales completed, a 4 year high. Just looking at these two figures you can see where the name ‘corona coaster’ has come from.  

Further statistics confirm that each conveyancer completed on average 15 transactions each in March, the lowest since 2013.

However, when you look at the whole first quarter of 2020 a 5% increase is evident with over 235,000 sales completed. However, it will be interesting to see how quarter two pans out given the industry has returned to some form of normality.

Since the market re-opened last Wednesday Rightmove have reported some positive numbers as far as interest is concerned with a high percentage of these been first-time-buyers. However, many experts predict that these first time-buyers might be slightly disappointed as the reductions and discounts they are hoping may not be there.

The property portal Rightmove released date illustrating that 60% of first-time buyers postponed their plans to buy a new property. However, now lockdown on the market has slightly relaxed these first-time buyers have decided now is the time to book a viewing. Because of this influx there isn’t any early indication that property prices are going down as there is plenty of demand. These thoughts were backed up by Rightmove as their data indicates that asking prices are up 2%.  The question is how long will this last for? Is it just a honeymoon period or a backlog given in reality the market has been closed for nearly 8 weeks?

Therefore, the clever tactic for some who aren’t in a rush might be to wait whilst things pan out as that deal maybe there it might just be a waiting game until the honeymoon period is over. On the other hand there will be obviously those sellers who need to sell fast for whatever reason so if you are looking for a bargain it maybe worthwhile calling a few agents to see if they have a vendor who are in a personal situation where they need a quick sale.

But it’s pretty obvious and the property market as many other markets comes down to the basic economics of supply and demand. Whilst there is plenty of demand which at the moment there seems to be you if you are wanting to make an offer on a property you may need to pay the asking price or if not very close to it.

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CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES TO CONTROL VIEWINGS, AND SDLT HOLIDAYS

There has recently been a campaign launched asking the government to introduce what has been described as a ‘Property Sector Support Package’. The aim of the package is to kick start the property market since lock down.

The main points detailed in this campaign are

  1. Contactless viewings
  2. A loan of £1,500 for buyer who complete a purchase
  3. A SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) Holiday

The campaign identifies all the following measure will be adhered to with regards to contactless viewings, ensuring people are protected from coming into contact with people.

  1. Back to Back viewings will not take place
  2. Viewings will not take place in a property where one of the residents have symptoms of covid-19
  3. Viewers will wait in their cars until they are told they can enter the property
  4. All vendors will ensure all cupboards are open, lights on, and no direct contact is made with anyone hosting or attending the viewing

The document then goes onto explain what the government could also consider to kick-start the market, these are

  1. A six-month holiday break on all SDLT transactions and any other tax’s involved in a residential property transaction. This element would have a huge effect on the market especially with people wanting to upsize and therefore introducing to the market more first-time buyer properties.
  • A cash of incentive of £1,500 to any homebuyer in the form of an interest-free loan, which has to be paid when the buyer sells the property. Therefore, this is not a grant as the money will come eventually come back into the system.

The campaign goes onto state that more than 1 million homes are bought and sold every year in the UK.

People have to consider its not just the estate agents, solicitors and mortgage brokers who will be affected by a significant drop in property transactions. There are figures which state the impact on DIY and home removals could be in excess of £8 Billion.

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WILL MY PROTECTION POLICY COVER ME AGAINST CORONA-VIRUS

A large proportion of us at some point in our lives take out life assurance or critical illness cover to offer some form of protection for themselves and our loved ones.

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus there has never been a time with such a level of uncertainty. The recent pandemic is having a massive effect on all our mindsets, with things been so worrying for everyone.

Unfortunately, it goes without saying during this time those with policies in place will naturally be thinking will it cover this deadly virus? This opinion is backed up with the amount of people typing phrases into search engines such as ‘will my life assurance policy cover Coronavirus?’

Fingers crossed you are able to find the information you require but if not please give us a call on 03333 232 199, we will be delighted to listen to any questions you have and will point you in the right direction.

In this article we will try and answer some of the generic questions to try and appease any anxieties as quickly as possible.

PLEASE NOTE THE INFORMATION PROVIDED WAS BASED ON KNOWLEDGE FROM 30TH MARCH. HOWEVER, DUE TO RAPID SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE CHANGING THINGS ON AN HOURLY BASIS. THEREFORE, WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND TO CHECK WITH YOUR INIDIVIDUAL INSURANCERS TO CONFIRM ANY DETAILS

Will I Be Covered?

Providing you have paid your monthly payments and are not in arrears generally insurers will include the coronavirus in your policy. This is obviously assuming that all the information you provided the insurer at inception or renewal of your policy is correct.

However, every insurer is different and there is no guarantee yours will cover the virus. If you are in arrears with your insurer you need to act as quickly as possible. Please give us a call and we will be delighted to look into this for you?

How can this policy help if I cannot work?

This will really depend on what the consequences of Coronavirus is to you. If the virus leads you to disability in some form, there is a strong possibility the policy will pay out. However, each insurer will be different, so it is worth checking with your respective company.

Is there an option for a payment holiday?

Many of you may have seen the majority of mortgage lenders are currently offering their customers a three-month payment holiday. However, at the moment there isn’t signs of insurers doing the same, but we would advise to keep your eye on the website of your insurers as things are changing by the day.

HOWEVER WE CANNOT EMPHASISE THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING YOUR EXISTING POLICY ACTIVE BEFORE DOING ANYTHING.

What about if I recently cancelled my policy?

If you have recently cancelled your policy there maybe the option to get this up and running. Granted there is no guarantee but there is a chance, every insurer will have different rules. However, like anything everything is worth a try. Yet again if you would like help to see if this is an option for you please call us on 03333 232 199 and we will be delighted to help.

If you are concerned you are unable to make your payments please get in touch and we will point you in the right direction to offer you the best solution by exploring all the options available.

Can I take out extra cover on my policy mid-term?

If you would like to increase the level of cover on your existing policy please get in touch. Many insurers as you can imagine are tightening their underwriting by the day and it is going to get tighter before it relaxes. Therefore, it maybe a good idea to at least speak to someone so why not give us a call. If you haven’t got any form of policy in place it is still possible to put one in place. We can put you in touch with insurers who can definitely help and are still offering new policies even in these hard times.

Interested in speaking to someone

If you would like to speak to someone please call us on 03333 232 199. There are policies currently available from £5 a month and we are offering up to £100 Morrisson’s vouchers for any policy taken out.

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Properties Still Selling During Lockdown.

Don’t think your property won’t sell during lock down, it is still possible. Here at FastMove we know its going to be hard to sell properties during lockdown, mainly because people cannot get out to view the respective homes. However, we are pleased to announce we have sold three properties since lock down with the use of a video tour taken by the vendor. Our Managing Director Christian Armitage recently stated, in times like this you just need to think outside the box.

The process was pretty simple the interested parties registered interest in the properties. On all occasions the buyers new the areas concerned so just needed to see the internal elements of the property to satisfy them. All it took was to put the vendor and buyer in touch with each other allowing the to Face-time each other. On all occasions they were happy with the content and made an offer which was accepted.

One of our vendors said ‘We had resorted to the fact our property was not going to sell until the government had relaxed the lock down rules. However, due to the initiative and never lie down attitude of my estate agent we are in a position now we are Sold Subject To Contract.’

Obviously, it’s in the early stages of the process and all buyers have confirmed they want to view the property once the rules are relaxed but at least we can instruct solicitors to generate some momentum. Furthermore, it gives the public hope that

  1. If their property is currently on the market it still may sell
  • If you are looking to sell your property it still maybe worthwhile listing your property as this has proved people are still looking for properties.

Here at FastMove we strongly feel if you have a property to sell and would like to sell it relatively quickly to market the property now. We think this for two reasons

  1. We have already illustrated people are still looking at properties they may want to purchase
  • Given the current crisis the Country is in, there is the chance there maybe a drop in the market. Granted it will recover but we don’t know how long this will take and if you would like to sell quickly by advertising your property now you are giving yourself the best chance to meet your objective.

Stay Safe.