Three-quarters of home movers still want to push ahead

Jessica Bird

April 15, 2020

home movers

Three-quarters (75%) of those who were planning a move before the COVID-19 crisis still want to move as soon as possible, according to research among customers of comparison site reallymoving. 

A further 18% said they were still hoping to move later this year, and only 7% were now unwilling or unable to move home.

Among those that have agreed a deal and were already in the process of buying and selling a property when the lockdown came into effect, 62% intend to use this time to get as far as possible with the process before the restrictions are lifted.

Three in 10 (29%) have put their transactions on pause temporarily, however, while 6% are not longer willing or able to proceed and 3% have seen their chain collapse entirely.

The primary concern for buyers and sellers no longer proceeding with their move is that house prices could fall (26%).

Other worries for home movers include someone in the chain pulling out (17%), concern over job security (16%) and lost confidence in the economy (16%).

Only 4% of survey respondents were concerned about being unable to access professional services.

The vast majority (92%) of sellers who have yet to find a buyer are planning to leave their property on the market, to take advantage of potential buyers having more time to search for properties.

Rob Houghton, CEO at reallymoving, said: “Home movers at all stages of the process currently remain determined to press ahead at the earliest opportunity, suggesting we could see a quick recovery in housing market activity when the current restrictions on movement end.

“Before the coronavirus crisis hit, we were experiencing the strongest spring market for several years and this research suggests that demand has not yet melted away.

“But considering the main concern for movers is falling house prices, picking up the pieces of an existing move may require a renegotiation of the price along the chain and for some parties, particularly those who have had their incomes reduced, that move could become unviable.

“Until activity resumes it will be difficult to predict the full impact on volumes and prices, but it’s encouraging to hear the determination of buyers and sellers to stick with their plans and progress their move as soon as possible.

“For now, the most important thing is that people follow the government’s advice to stay at home and keep removers, homeowners and tenants safe.”

Harry Hodell, director of Pure Structured Finance, added: “The beginning of the year started with a boom after months of uncertainty so whilst the current climate may stall transactions in the short run, it is good to see that the market is resilient and determined to push on as best it can.”

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