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Second lockdown may add to property market strain – Knight Frank

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  • 09/11/2020
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Second lockdown may add to property market strain – Knight Frank
The current second lockdown to limit the spread of Covid-19 may put added pressure on to the already strained property market, Knight Frank has warned.

 

Despite the sector remaining open and in operation this time around, head of London residential research, Tom Bill said the timing of the lockdown was “ironic” as completions were still facing delays due to conveyancing backlogs.  

Bill said: “That fact is unlikely to change and some parts of the system may come under more strain during this second lockdown. 

He also said the impact of the lockdown on the property market would be less severe if it was not extended beyond the projected end date of 2 December. 

If the second lockdown is not extended, it therefore feels like it will put a small dent in the performance of a resurgent property market, but little more.” 

“Whether that dent becomes bigger or disappears in coming months depends on two events outside the control of the property market – the arrival of a treatment or vaccine for Covid-19 and the avoidance of a no-deal cliff-edge Brexit,” Bill added. 

 

Valuations and exchanges on the rise

Activity further down the transaction chain remained strong ahead of the second lockdown compared to the week before, data from Knight Frank suggested.

Valuation appraisals rose by 38 per cent between Monday and Thursday compared to the previous week, while exchanges increased 11 per cent. 

Bill said the uptick in exchanges was a result of a high number of deals going under offer in the last few months. 

However, property viewings fell by 15 per cent compared to the week before the lockdown started.  

Knight Frank predicted this was because there was uncertainty around whether the property market would remain open this time around which left buyers and sellers cautious about proceeding with transactions.  

Bill added: “In a market so driven by sentiment, it would be wrong to conclude that it will be business as usual.”

 

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