In Spite of Coronavirus, It’s a Good Time to be Buying and Selling Property in Scotland
In response to the current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), a lot of people are asking whether it is still a good time to be buying and selling or whether they should wait until the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has passed.
It would be ridiculous to say that the outbreak won’t have an effect on the property market. Of course it will: anything that negatively affects the overall economy will have a negative effect on the property market. People’s movement will be restricted in coming weeks and viewing numbers should be down if people are acting responsibly (see ‘Be Safe’ below).
MOV8 opened in September 2007. We have therefore been through a property market crash, a banking crash and a global financial depression and survived. We have also learned a lot of valuable lessons that we can pass on.
Our view is that the impact on the property market in most parts of Scotland need not be as bad as many people fear. Here’s why.
Buyer Demand is Starting from an All-Time High
We are starting from a position of extremely high buyer demand and low supply to the market. We don’t see that position changing. Even if half of the buyers in the marketplace at the time of writing dropped-out, the market would still be buoyant.
At the moment, most properties are going to a Closing Date where multiple parties bid, blindly against each other. Often, the property receives 10, 20 or more offers at these Closing Dates. If demand halves, that’s still 5, 10 or more offers at the Closing Date.
Of course, high demand and lots of offers at Closing Dates makes for some spectacular selling prices: as much as 30% above the Home Report valuation. Less demand might soften that a bit. Nevertheless, you should still get a good price. And, as for whether you will sell at all: it only takes one person to buy a house.
Supply of Properties for Sale is Likely to Drop, Reducing Competition
The supply of properties coming to the market is likely to reduce.
In the past decade, in times of uncertainty such as IndyRef or Brexit, seller behaviour has been more affected than buyer behaviour. When less sellers put their properties on the market, there is less competition against your property. So, even if there is a reduction in buyers in the marketplace, most likely that’s matched by the reduction in properties for sale.
You Are Buying and Selling in the Same Market
If you’re a seller, very often you are a buyer. If you are buying, you are buying and selling in the same market. So, if you get a little bit less for the property you are selling, the chances are that you are also going to purchase your next property for slightly less money too.
Cooler Market Conditions Might be Good News for Frustrated Buyers
For buyers, anything that slightly ‘cools’ the market from its current, overheated state is going to be welcome.
We submit dozens of offers on behalf of property buyers every week. Most of those properties are going to a Closing Date where there are several Notes of Interest (interested parties who are given an opportunity to make an Offer at a specific time and date). In early 2020, our clients have been successful on approximately 1 in 3 occasions. Some of our buyers offer unsuccessfully on several properties before securing their home, in spite of the quality of advice that our dedicated Purchasing Team provides.
After several years of property price growth and a shortage of properties coming to the market, the property market is likely to become a bit kinder to property buyers in Scotland.
Be Safe and Be Considerate
We have put in place a number of measures to protect the business, our staff and contractors, our clients and our customers during the coronavirus outbreak. For now, however, we are not advising anyone that the should not conduct or attend property viewings.
We do, however, recommend that everyone exercises the same common sense that they do in other aspects of their daily lives during the outbreak and that they make themselves fully aware of how to minimise risk not just to themselves but to everyone else.
For more information and guidance about how to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading Coronavirus, please check the following link to the NHS website.
If any of the following applies to you, please do not go ahead with a viewing, whether you are a viewer or a seller.
- You have been diagnosed with coronavirus;
- You have returned from any of the following Category 1 or Category 2 countries in the past 14 days;
- You are currently self-isolating;
- You are currently exhibiting any of the following symptoms: a high temperature or a new continuous cough.
We’re Here to Help
If you are thinking of buyer or selling your property, our expert team is here to talk you through the best approach to getting the best value in the current circumstances.