Property Moves During Lockdown
Although it appears as though we are seeing an effective close down in the property market until the end of lockdown, there is still some light shining through with clients wanting to make things happen. The property headlines are understandably gloomy and the FT earlier this month described the usual spring selling season as turning into a period of extended winter hibernation. While the majority of people have been forced to put their home moves on hold until after lockdown, there are some unique circumstances where the government advises that transactions may proceed and in particular where properties are empty.
Government advice – adapt and be flexible
A London client who had engaged Property Acquisitions prior to lockdown to find a weekend home in one of the downland villages were prepared to adapt their plans and achieved their objective, albeit in a different way. Their plans were to move out of London in the next six months and buy a dream home in the West Sussex South Downs but they decided to bring that move date forward after craving more space during the lockdown period. With some unusual challenges and hurdles to overcome, we were able to help them achieve just this following government advice that moves could proceed if social distancing is observed and where the property being moved to is empty.
The challenge to find a vacant property
Property Acquisitions were able to identify an untenanted period detached house in the village of Stoughton with a wonderfully secluded south facing garden and which was being offered for rent unfurnished. Representing a great opportunity to see if this South Downs location was right for them in the longer term, they decided to rent. In this case, lockdown would provide the time and space to see if this lifestyle would actually suit their needs.
How to move without removal companies
As removal companies are not operating at the same level during lockdown, Jennie Hancock’s clients adopted the “make do” approach which has characterised the UK’s approach to lockdown. By transporting a few essential items themselves, they had the inspiration to just order online the basics for the home. These were delivered observing social distancing and keys handed over indirectly. All this was achieved within a few days and the sunny Easter weekend was spent in the garden in Stoughton rather than at their busy London address. Our clients were fortunate to be in the position to do this and shows some positivity in a rather difficult and frustrating time.
Property Outlook in West Sussex
The Brexit effect on the property market at the tail end of 2019 now seems a dim and distant memory. Now Covid-19 has changed our lives and we have all adapted. Prior to this we were seeing many property owners anticipating a buoyant spring and summer market with estate agents attending many valuations. This gives an indication that when the restrictions are lifted, many properties will once again enter the market and pent-up demand from inevitably cautious buyers will provide much needed stimulus. Time will tell to see when demand will once again exceed supply.
Planning for property moves post lockdown
There are still properties to be sold and although this year will be very different, the sources remain the same. Property Acquisitions remains in touch with buyers looking for these special opportunities, as we are still the first to hear with our inside track and network of local contacts.