Just as homeowners were starting to enjoy a long awaited boost to the housing market, after 4 years of Brexit; the Coronavirus has now stopped it dead in its tracks.
Demand dropped by 40% in March, as buyers pause to take stock of the impact of the lock down restrictions, which is fuelling unpredictability in the global economy.
Interest from new buyers has fallen dramatically and it is expected this trend to continue until buyers see restrictions lifted and a degree of stability, in the economy, restored.
The number of homes being listed for sale has slumped but as the industry launches new marketing tactics by adopting virtual viewings, those properties already listed are attracting limited activity. Sales continue to be agreed and are down by 15% compared to the beginning of March.
Properties, which have secured a sale and are near to exchanging contracts, appear to be holding out. However, a growing majority of sales fall through as buyers reassess their financial situation and the effect the economy will have on the housing market long term.
With more than 1300 mortgages withdrawn so far, this is another major factor impacting the housing market.
The short term impact on the housing market will depend on the effectiveness of the Governments rescue packages, to support individuals and businesses, as well as low mortgage rates.
That said, in the long term, the UK housing market has proven to be somewhat robust, recovering after every setback and continuing to outperform most alternative investments. The root of its success is primarily down to a steady and continuous supply and demand.