On Saturday 31st October, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England would enter a second lockdown from Thursday 5th November to Wednesday 2nd December. The plan was to put in further restrictions to decrease the spread of the coronavirus. However, this lockdown is a little more lenient than the first, allowing more industries and educational settings to remain open. Our biggest concern was what would happen to the property market. However, now we are in the depths of lockdown 2.0, we can say that everything looks promising and the property market remains open!
Of course, there have been some minor changes to parts of the home buying process, most of them being social distancing measures. The property market is still standing strong, here is what you are allowed to do over the lockdown:
Unlike the start of the last lockdown when restrictions were a little tighter, in this lockdown you are still able to move home. Home removal services, van hire, everything needed to move home will still be available.
As mentioned before, the home moving process will have to be completed under the social distancing guidelines. This will be of most importance if you are viewing other people’s home and taking house viewings regularly.
The answer is yes, the government are allowing you to visit your estate agent’s office. However, some estate agents have chosen to work from home and have closed their local branches, so you may have to check whether they are open or not.
Especially in this day and age, some people prefer to transact over the phone, and there is nothing wrong with this, you can still get the process started over the phone and even online. We advise that you take your time if you are doing everything online, and make sure that you clearly understand everything that is being communicated.
You can still continue with your house viewings, however, if it’s possible maybe you could try your estate agent’s virtual house viewing (if they offer that). Most home buyers are shifting towards this new approach to house viewings; as a Mortgage Broker in Hull, we also expect that the number of virtual viewings will increase over lockdown.
Even though virtual viewings may be your safest option, we also understand that choosing your dream home is a huge life decision, so if you want to view the property in person, there is nothing wrong with that.
Your estate agents will also check with the property owners that a socially distanced property viewing is okay, if so, then you can arrange a date and time. Depending on the time of day and the homeowner’s situation, they may go out somewhere so that there as few people in the household as possible.
The property market hasn’t been put on pause like the first lockdown, you can still continue the home selling process as normal. You will need to consider everything that comes with selling a property, this will include choosing an estate agent and a property valuation, getting pictures of the property taken, etc.
With the guidelines and restrictions in place, there may be some delay in the process. Estate agents are very busy at the moment with enquiries and with all of the different measures in place, things that are normally easy to complete are taking a little longer.
Yes, conveyancing solicitors will remain open during the lockdown. They will still be available to support your property sale. Again, most solicitors are working from home and we advise that you be patient as due to the demand in the property market, things may come slower than usual.
As a Mortgage Advisor in Hull, this is a question that we have been asked quite a lot during the pandemic. It was particularly asked by lots of homeowners during the first lockdown.
In this lockdown, even though it’s much shorter, you can take a mortgage payment holiday if you really need to. We understand that there are a lot of people that need help meeting their mortgage payments, if this is your situation then taking one out could be your best option. To find out more helpful information about mortgage payment holidays and whether you should take one out, check out our mortgage payment holidays article.
If you took 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.
The property market is slowly catching up to speed and thankfully can keep trading through this lockdown. If you are wanting to start the mortgage/home buying process and would like help from a professional, it may be within your best interests to get Mortgage Advice in Hull. 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 Hull, we have a wealth 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!