Housing market reopens: What will happen to house prices after COVID-19?
THE housing market has reopened for business following the coronavirus lockdown, as the Government continues to ease measures in England despite a rise in virus-related deaths. What will happen to house prices after COVID-19?
By LIAM DOYLE
Property market could face a ‘dire’ situation warns expert
Housing markets have reopened in the UK, as the Government continues to ease movement and work restrictions. While people can now move house and estate agents can show new properties, the sector is flailing due to COVID-19.
The Government coronavirus response proved particularly unforgiving for the housing market, which noticed a 90 percent drop in new sales by the end of April.
Property portal Zoopla also noted a total of 373,000 sales have been suspended due to the crisis.
The dip has caused house prices to nosedive, and the Office of National Statistics (ONS) announced they sunk so low it is no longer possible to measure them.
Housing market reopens: Estate agents can open for viewings from today (Image: GETTY)
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The result is a suspension in the ONS housing index, and others have followed.
Zoopla has also suspended its asking price index, and Halifax and Nationwide indexes will also struggle to stay afloat as mortgages stay on ice.
No-one will know the full state of the housing market until the pandemic has ended, but experts expect hefty damages.
Property experts have released a broad range of predictions of market performance in the UK, with predictions starting as low as three percent but rising to 10 times that.
Housing market reopens: Robert Jenrick
Housing market reopens: Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the market can now "move safely forward" (Image: GETTY)
Macroeconomics firm Capital Economics is the most optimistic so far, predicting a total fall of roughly four percent in the UK.
Knight Frank downgraded their prediction to seven percent from three earlier this year, closely followed by Savills, which painted a broad picture of five to 10 percent drops.
Banks have so far produced the most damning picture of the UK housing market, with predictions breaching the 30 percent mark.
Deutsche Bank believes the housing market will suffer losses of 23 percent due to COVID-19.
Housing market reopens: House viewings under COVID-19 will take place virtually and with PPE (Image: GETTY)
Lloyds Banking Group predicts a 30.2 percent drop, staggered over the next three years of performance.
Official predictions from the Bank of England fall within the reasonable range of roughly 16 percent for residential properties.
Now the market has opened once again experts don't expect it to bounce back quickly, as measures prevent it from running at full capacity.
Agents will resume their business with social distancing measures in place, and people remain cautious while the disease continues to circulate.
Although Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has declared the industry can "move safely forward" it likely will do so under limitations.
No official guidelines have emerged yet, but property sector blueprints suggest social distancing and PPE will remain vital.
Mark Hayward of NAEA Propertymark told The Daily Telegraph everyone involved in a showing would need to wear PPE, which they have to provide for themselves.
Back-to-back viewings, open houses and coronavirus declarations will likely follow alongside limits to the number of viewings, many of which agents may conduct online.