Zoopla has dropped their latest coronavirus-fueled forecast report, and the results, while dismaying, are unsurprising on the back of the pandemic: finalized transaction counts have dropped by 15%, and the estimate over the next three months hovers at about 60%, with some of spring's early days potentially reaching 80%.
While most agreed upon contracts are still going through, a "rapidly growing proportion" are falling through: last week's numbers were up 60%.
The property portal says - similar to the auto industry - the in-person factor of home showings, guided viewings, and tailored valuations have plummeted from social distancing measures. Currently, the market has not yet reached a standstill, but players are waiting to hear from government officials what measures will be taken to combat future difficulties.
Richard Donnell, Director of Research and Insight at Zoopla, commented:
"We do not expect any immediate impact on prices. Beyond this, the outlook for house prices largely depends upon how the government’s major package of support for business and households reduces the scale of the economic impact. Low mortgage rates mean forbearance will remain the preferred choice for lenders, but further Government support in these unique times cannot be ruled out."
Some countries have outright suspended or froze mortgages and rent amidst COVID, while others like the U.S. haven chosen to rely on stimulus packages and financial injections. How these strategies will truly affect the coming real estate ecosystem remains to be seen.