New issues surrounding the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic are arising. In the UK, agents are waiting to receive their commissions from sales, an amount equalling to nearly £1 billion. The stalling is due to the number of real estate transactions that have been put on hold because of the global pandemic.
Zoopla has reported research suggesting about 373,000 agreed upon sales floating around worth a total of £82 billion.
The Director of Research and Insight at Zoopla, Richard Donnell, said:
“Parts of the market are at a virtual standstill as a result of the physical restrictions that have stopped new supply coming to the market and the viewing of homes for sale.”
In fact, agreed sales and supply are down by some 90% since the beginning of March. Total listings, however, are only down by 4%. Suggesting that sellers aren’t taking their listings off and are adopting a wait-and-see approach.
Experts are still predicting that the number of completed sales in the UK will be halved this year.
Donnell is calling for agents to stay in touch with their applicants to keep interest up through social media engagement. He also suggested agents hold online events to help people like first-time buyers with information that can digest now and hopefully put in to use when the market settles.
The future of the UK market and its recovery is unknown. Donnell predicts that once the lockdown is let up, the release of demand that has been snowballing since Brexit will cause a boom in the housing market.
Part of this, Donnell theorizes, could be due to those looking for new scenery after being housebound for months at a time. Or, having now worked from home, need dwellings more suited for that type of remote work.
Donnell concludes that the future of the housing market depends on what the COVID-19 virus does to the economy through to the end of the year.
That being said, the rental sector in the UK is starting to gain back its former glory. Portals are competing with each other to offer their consumers and agents the best discounts to help them continue business through these trying times. First-time buyers and those on the lower end of the economic scale are hoping for a more affordable market as the dust settles. All things pointing to a market recovery once all is said and done.