On Saturday 31st October, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England would enter “lockdown 2.0” from Thursday 5th November to Wednesday 2nd December. These restrictions were put into place in aid to try and reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Compared to the last lockdown, the restrictions are not as tight this time around. This is allowing more industries and educational systems to remain open. Now that we are in the depths of the second lockdown, we can say that everything is looking promising and the property market is remaining open!
Of course, not everything can carry on as normal as the whole nation is on lockdown. Things that have become stricter are the social distancing measures when visiting estate agents and going for house viewings etc. Despite some restrictions, the property market is still standing strong, here is what you are allowed to do over the lockdown:
As a Mortgage Broker in Sheffield, we have recently received a lot of questions surrounding the property market and whether or not it’s going to be impacted by lockdown 2.0. In response, we thought that it would be best to answer your questions by breaking them down one by one:
Unlike the last lockdown, the restrictions are not as tight in this one, 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.
Remember, 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, some of them have chosen to shut their branches and have their employees work from home. Quite a few estate agents have gone down this route so it might be best to check whether they are open or not before going directly to them.
Estate agents might decide to move towards this approach, especially in this day and age. You can still get your process started over the phone and even online, so there is nothing wrong with this new way of doing things. 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 available, you could maybe 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 Sheffield, 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 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 been put to a halt 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 some delay in the process. Estate agents are very busy at the moment and are facing new enquiries all of the time. With all of the measures and new enquiries, things that are normally easy to complete are taking a little longer.
Yes, conveyancing solicitors are remaining open throughout this lockdown. They will still be available to support your property sale. Again, most solicitors are working 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 Sheffield, we are asked this question a lot. During the last lockdown, many homeowners were interested in taking out a mortgage payment holiday, however, during 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 you still can, but make sure that if you are going to, it’s because you need to. As a Mortgage Broker in Sheffield, 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 or not taking one out will be right for you.
If you have already taken out a mortgage payment holiday during the first 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 should resume to normal. During this lockdown, the property market may not be up to a perfect standard, but thankfully you can still keep trading. So you are able to start the mortgage/home buying process whenever you want.
If you want to start your journey, it may be within your best interests to get Mortgage Advice in Sheffield. 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 Sheffield, 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!