On Saturday 31st October, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the nation would enter another lockdown from Thursday 5th November to Wednesday 2nd December. These restrictions were brought in to try and decrease the spread of the coronavirus. In comparison to the last lockdown, the restrictions aren’t as tight this time. This is allowing more industries and educational systems to remain open. Now that we are deep into lockdown 2.0, we can say that everything is looking promising and the property market is remaining open!
On the other hand, not everything can carry on as normal as the whole nation is on lockdown. Social distancing measures have become stricter, for example, when you are visiting estate agents and going for house viewings etc. Despite some restrictions, the property market is still going strong, here is what you are allowed to do over the lockdown:
As a Mortgage Broker in Durham, we have recently received a lot of questions about the property market and whether or not it’s going to be affected by lockdown 2.0. In response, we thought that it would be best to answer your questions by breaking them down one by one:
As mentioned before, this lockdown’s restrictions aren’t as tight, so yes, you can still move home. Everything that you needed for your Moving Home journey is all still available, this includes home removal services, van hire, etc.
You must remember that every step of the process must be completed under the social distancing guidelines. This is particularly important if you are taking house viewings regularly.
Yes, you can visit your estate agent’s office, however, quite a few of them have chosen to temporarily close their branches and have their employees work from home. It might be worth checking to see whether or not your estate agent has gone down this route before going directly to them.
We are expecting more and more estate agents to move towards this approach, particularly in this day and age. Don’t worry though, you can still get your process started over the phone and even online; there is nothing wrong with this new way of starting your process. We always advise that you take your time if you decide to do everything online, and make sure that you clearly understand everything that is being communicated.
Yes, you can still continue with house viewings, however of the option is there, maybe you could try out your estate agent’s virtual house viewing. Again, most home buyers are realising that this approach is a lot safer; as a Mortgage Broker in Durham, we expect that a lot of people will take up virtual viewings, especially over the lockdown period.
Even though a virtual viewing maybe your best option, we also understand that choosing your dream home is a life decision, especially if you are a First Time Buyer. So, we completely get it if you want to view the property in person to get the feel for it.
Your estate agents will also have to double-check with the property owners that a socially distanced property viewing is okay with them. If they are, you are all good to go, a date and time will just need arranging. Depending on the time of day and the homeowner’s situation, they may want to go out somewhere so that there as few people in the household as possible.
The property market hasn’t really been put on hold like the last lockdown, you can continue the home selling process as normal. You’ll need to consider a lot of different things when selling a property, this includes things like choosing an estate agent and a property valuation, getting pictures of the property taken, etc.
With the current government guidelines in place, there may be a slight delay in the process. Estate agents are extremely busy at the moment and are facing new enquiries all of the time. With all of the current measures and new guidelines in place, things that are normally easy to complete are taking a little longer.
Yes, conveyancing solicitors are staying open throughout this lockdown. They will still be available to support your property sale. Again, most solicitors have chosen to work from home, so we recommend that you be patient. There is a high demand in the market right now so things may come slower than usual.
In Durham, we are asked this question a lot. During the last lockdown, many homeowners decided to take out a mortgage payment holiday to help with their mortgage payments. However, in this lockdown, the demand has lowered even though you can still take one out.
So if you want to take out a mortgage payment holiday, the answer is yes, you still can. Although, make sure that you only take one out because you really need to. As a Mortgage Broker in Durham, we do realise that there are a lot of people that will need to take a mortgage payment holiday, if this is your situation, make sure that you know exactly what they are and how they work. For more useful information on mortgage payment holidays, check out our mortgage payment holidays article. It could help you decide whether you need to access the scheme or not.
If you have already taken out a mortgage payment holiday during the last lockdown and are currently still on the scheme, you can extend your holiday so that it comes to a total of six months holiday. However, if you have already had a six month payment holiday, you have already reached the six month limit and therefore unlikely that you will be able to access this scheme again.
Eventually, the property market will catch back up to speed and everything will hopefully resume back to normal. During lockdown 2.0, the property market may not be up to a perfect standard, but thankfully you can still keep trading. So you are able to get the mortgage/home buying process started whenever you want.
If you want to get the ball rolling, it may be within your best interests to get Mortgage Advice in Durham. With all of the social distancing measures in place and the demand in the market, this could also speed things up for you. As an experienced Mortgage Broker in Durham, we have mountains of knowledge in helping customers obtain their mortgage goals. We want the whole process to run as smoothly as you do; don’t hesitate to get in touch today. We can’t wait to hear from you!