The third national lockdown has been in place since the 4th January 2021 and is set to last until at least February if not longer. Yet the property market is remaining open and hopeful.
Government guidance allows for moving home, estate agents and removal firms are allowed to operate, and people are allowed to go to property viewings. There seems to be a more optimistic, albeit cautious, feeling among lenders than during the first lockdown, when the appetite for risk decreased.
Amit Majithia, principal at Avamore Capital, said: “The government’s latest announcement is far from welcome, albeit understandable given the worrying infection and hospitalisation figures,”
“With news of a vaccine at the end of last year, it is disappointing that we are now faced with our third cycle of lockdown measures, but hopefully we really are in the last stages of disruption.
“The industry is in a relatively fortunate position in that in this lockdown, unlike the uncertain situation in early March, onsite construction is permitted to continue.
“This is similar to the rules of lockdown 2.0 and will mean that we are able to maintain momentum and continue to complete on transactions.”
“The other issue that we will keep a keen eye on is the delivery of materials which is going to be affected not only by the lockdown, but of course increased border friction [after] the UK’s exit from the EU”
“A theme which is likely to remain consistent is the increased interest in our product for part-complete schemes (finish and exit) which is specifically designed for developers that have faced unexpected delays and cost overruns during their project.
“With further challenges presented through the stop-start nature of the past nine months and the end of CBILS on the horizon, we expect that developers will become increasingly dependent on the specialist finance market to provide them with support for their schemes and their cashflow.”
Nick Jones, commercial director at Roma Finance, said: “The government won’t look to undo the hard work they’ve put in place for the past 12 months, however, the recovering of the spending during this time will need to start at some point, which is more likely in the Autumn or Spring of 2022.
“The difficulty which customers will feel will be the exiting and finishing of property projects during lockdown.
“Project costs are likely to increase and timescales elongate, resulting in customers potentially overrunning, which will brings its own issues.
“However, if intermediaries and lenders work with customers for mutually satisfactory results then this will give the property market a much needed boost and protect everyone’s interests.”
Tomer Aboody, director at MT Finance, added: “It is now down to the comfort level of sellers in terms of allowing potential buyers in to view their homes and buyers feeling comfortable attending viewings,” he cautioned.
“Our appetite to lend has not changed whatsoever,” he added.
“We feel the market won’t be disrupted as it was last year because there is an end in sight, thanks to the roll out of the vaccine programme.
“This, along with the fact that valuers and solicitors can still work and there is still access to properties, should provide further confidence for the housing market as a whole.”
However, he believes that the stamp duty holiday will need to be extended, if not made permanent.
“The chancellor must look at the deadline again, in light of this unexpected lockdown.”
Original article featured here…
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