You are here: Home - News -

Coronavirus fears dampen February’s positive housing market bounce – RICS

  • 12/03/2020
  • 0
Coronavirus fears dampen February’s positive housing market bounce – RICS
Surveyors are concerned about the impact a coronavirus outbreak would have on the newly-returned buoyancy in the housing market.


New-buyer enquiries, agreed sales and property listings were all reported to have improved in February’s market, before many cases of COVID-19 had been reported in the UK, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) market report.

Low levels of existing housing on estate agents’ books continued to be a problem.

Although house sales were expected to remain buoyant in the short term, concerns over the economic impact of the virus had dampened optimism and some surveyors reported a lull already returning to the market.

One surveyor in Bury St Edmunds said after a “market sprint” in January, “things had gone quiet again” after global events. Another, in Galbraith, said the virus had impacted viewings and listings.

The majority of surveyors who had commented in the RICS survey, however, said they worried about how an outbreak would impact the market, but had yet to see any effects.


Stock and viewings down

A Bristol surveyor said: “We have more stock coming through on the new-build side of the business and sentiment has improved but stock remains low. How the world economy will be impacted by the coronavirus over the next six months will be telling.”

Estate agents have also noticed a drop off in viewings this month.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “The usually reliable RICS survey suggests that house-price inflation, demand and new listings have been increasing for the past few months, which is good news, even though it is based largely on pre-virus responses.

“It confirms what many of our buyers and sellers are telling us – that the impact will be serious but short term. Our viewings are about 25 per cent lower than we might have expected at this time of year but sales are not being cancelled so far and we have even seen exchanges of contract immediately post-Budget.”

Although in general, February’s housing market activity has rebounded since Brexit uncertainty, the picture has not been rosy everywhere in the UK.

One Merseyside surveyor said cladding issues following Grenfell were “seriously” affecting city centre apartment sales, because lenders were not lending.

Flooding in parts of the country such as Herefordshire and Worcestershire had also affected the volume of properties coming on to the market.


There are 0 Comment(s)

You may also be interested in