When we initially left 2019 behind, the biggest issue facing the market was the aftereffect of Brexit on the industry. Since March 2020, the global Covid-19 pandemic diverted this concern. Social distancing rules came into play, non-essential shops closed for several months, and we entered our first national lockdown. Even the property industry came to a grinding halt for a month during April 2020, and concern for the recovery of the market grew.
Now, the housing industry has seen one the largest growths it’s witnessed in the past decade.
- Rental prices are rising
- Demand is outweighing housing supply
- Property prices are soaring due to the stamp duty holiday
Initial reaction to UK lockdowns
The implementation of the UK lockdown saw a drastic change in demand and projection. When the property market drew to a standstill during the first month of the initial UK lockdown, we knew we had to react quickly. We changed our working progress to provide flexibility and strength for our clients:
- We launched a new CRM system to enable ease when working remotely
- A £60 million COVID-19 recovery fund was launched to support residential and commercial property transactions, ensuring loans could be deployed without delay
- Whilst many lenders removed products from the shelf and closed doors until the market rebounded, we stayed open – welcoming new clients in need of urgent loans as their lenders pulled out of previously agreed deals
- Since the final lockdown, we’ve grown our workforce by 40% due to increased demand and introduced a developer exit loan to help property developers who are facing delays due to Coronavirus
How has the pandemic affected UK property value?
Our latest survey, The Homebuyer Wishlist 2021, reveals how the pandemic has changed the way UK homebuyers perceive property and the potential future trends we are likely to see over the remainder of 2021. The top 3 most important factors identified were:
- Garden and/or outdoor space – 92%
- Square footage of the property – 89%
- Broadband and mobile connectivity – 88%
Factors that have become far less important in the eyes of UK homebuyers over the past 24 months are:
- Transport links surrounding the property: Down 16%
- Distance to the nearest town or city: Down 13%
- Proximity to good schools: Down 12%
After several months stuck indoors due to regional lockdowns, it’s no surprise that the most important feature when buying a property has become the need for outdoor space – whether it be a garden or a communal area to sit or walk.
Seemingly, the effects of the pandemic have seen many employees now working from home on a semi-permanent basis. This has resulted in the importance of broadband and mobile connectivity moving from position 8 (of 15), to position 3. The rise in working from home is also the likely cause for the sudden dis-interest in transportation links, falling rank by 7 positions.
Following on from a successful first six months, we enter the second half of 2021 full of confidence and optimism. More importantly, we remain fully committed to supporting all the brokers and private clients we work with. We will continue to strive to deliver the best possible bridging products with the highest standards of service.
To find out how MFS can support your property investments in the months to comes, get in touch today.