Business as usual amid second lockdown
As we are now well into our second lockdown, Property Funding Director David Rainford spreads a little bit of positivity.
Since the announcement of a second lockdown I have seen very little else on social media than people / businesses involved in the property sector telling us all they remain open.
Indeed, the official Government stance is that construction and indeed the housing markets are to remain open (subject to usual social distancing / Covid secure caveats).
The positive side of me therefore doesn’t see this as a rerun of March / April when schemes went on hold and lenders battened down the hatches. It is amazing how quickly we have learnt to adapt and the messages coming out of developers and funders is more ‘can do’ than ‘can’t’.
Whether it is due to pent up demand or down to stamp duty relaxations, the housing market has emerged relatively unscathed from lockdown 1 and, putting the data aside, the hard evidence-based facts are that houses are selling quickly and prices are holding up.
Equally, developers are pressing ahead with schemes, funders are busy looking at new deals and the professional community, myself included, are all keen to point out how busy they are!
Will the current buoyant market continue? The honest answer is no one really knows. It is correct that the impacts on unemployment as we are weaned off furlough and on housing sales as stamp duty is reintroduced are not fully known. What I am certain of however is that the fundamentals of a shortage of housing remain unchanged, we will continue to benefit from low interest rates and liquidity remains within the funding markets. I would sincerely hope a soft landing to stamp duty is also in the chancellor’s mind come April depending on what the economic data suggests.
Talking down the markets can be a self fulfilling prophecy. Ignoring any attention grabbing headlines in the media, the views across agents and valuers thankfully seem more balanced. As such I tend to share the cautious optimism of developers and the ‘business as usual’ attitude being adopted to handling lockdown 2.
If you’d like to speak to Dave about property funding requirements you can contact him directly firstname.lastname@example.org
The information was correct at time of publishing but may now be out of date.