You switch on the TV, you load up Facebook, you start a conversation with your partner, I guarantee the first word you will see or say is ‘Corona’ and it won’t relating to the lager.
Yes, Coronavirus is all people seem to be talking about at the moment, it has literally taken over the world.
It is also having a huge impact on people looking to buy a new home or even their first home which in turn is having an impact on all sellers.
A lot of the anxiety rests with people who have already committed to purchasing a property. For example, if the Prime Minister locks the Country down completely where is that going to leave people, especially the ones who have agreed dates, removals etc. Even worse the ones who exchanged contracts a couple of weeks ago with a completion date imminent.
It’s because of this, solicitors have been advised by the law society to be very careful when setting dates. They have emphasised the importance of ensuring exchange and completion occurs on the same day when there are only two parties in the chain and only have a day between the two events with chains slightly longer. This is reducing the risk of people been locked into a contract they cannot adhere too if the Country was to be put on lockdown or the possibility of a party in the chain contracting the virus and thus have to go into self-isolation.
As well as the above causing disruption in the industry due to the aforementioned reasons there is no doubt people are going to be scared about the market in general. For example, are property prices going to crash or at least how far are prices going to drop?
If you are in the purchase for the short-term i.e. you plan to sell in two years or it’s an investment where the plan is to renovate and sell for profit, then I can totally understand the anxiety. However, if you are buying your next family home and plan to be there for a while then you have less to worry about. Yes there is a chance property prices will drop over the next month’s but one thing is for sure, they will climb back and if you take a 10 year view the property you are looking to purchase will more than likely be worth more than what you have agreed to pay for it today.
Furthermore, the interest rate currently stands 0.1%, the lowest rates have ever been. Granted lenders have not yet made changes to their fixed rate products to reflect this but this will probably be only a few days away. Therefore, if your purchase is a long-term view now is the time to borrow money and fix the rate for as long as possible.
Obviously there maybe the uncertainty with your jobs at the moment. However, there is help at hand from the mortgage companies who are generally granting three-month holiday periods, which you can use to your advantage.