As the country collectively holds its breath and awaits news of the lifting of lockdown measures, so too does business and, more specifically, small businesses that have been paused during the pandemic.
After new strict measures were announced on the 23rd March, businesses have been forced to put much of their activity on hold and customers have been forced indoors to wait until it’s safe to get back to some form of normality.
What that normality is going to look like is still unclear as the government continues to draw up plans, but it would appear that small shops and businesses may well be able to open before the end of the month.
If that is confirmed to be the case then it is expected that latent demand for services and products would see shops and businesses being very busy indeed, and that would apparently include estate agents and property agents too.
Hair dressers, garden centres and other providers that are able to keep some degree of social distancing will be first in the pecking order, and many estate agents offices have already put practices in place to allow for this.
Once a re-opening is announced, how busy are they likely to be?
Surge in advance viewings
Data released this week shows there has been a huge surge in demand for property viewings for when the lockdown restrictions have been lifted.
The data from property technology company, Coadjute, showed that advanced bookings for property viewings are up 182% in 4 weeks, marking a huge spike in interest.
It had already been noted in many places that there had been a spike in interest for property, and last week it was revealed that there was roughly £12 billion worth of property waiting to complete once agents were back in business.
Whilst the market itself has been somewhat suspended in animation, neither rising or significantly falling, there had been many expecting some kind of significant drop whilst it waited to get going again, it has, however, performed broadly against expectations.
Rather than stifle demand it has been a similar case to many other industries where transactions have simply been paused, and demand has been delayed rather than removed entirely.
With the government now supporting the vast majority of working adults until the economy restarts, the chancellor and prime minister have been clear that they will start the engines of the economy back up as soon as it’s safe to do so.
Nobody seems to be suggesting that there will be an immediate return to normality and indeed, it would seem that there will be a period of adjustment whilst businesses and consumers return to work and their day-to-day activities.
The Bank of England have issued some warnings that there may be some choppy waters ahead, but that they’re expecting a V shaped dip and recovery, which has almost certainly calmed the nerves of investors, who have seen stock markets largely recover to their pre-pandemic positions.
It’s a similar story in property, where demand remains and will continue to be strong through the year as the UK emerges from lockdown.
Are you a tenant looking to rent? Or a landlord looking for someone to manage your property? Here at Intus Lettings we have been as busy as ever during the lockdown, albeit it under slightly different circumstances. Contact us today and speak to a member of the team.