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“Business as usual” despite second lockdown

Jake Carter

November 2, 2020

Despite the second lockdown, announced by Boris Johnson on 31 October, Adam Forshaw, managing director of ONP said it is “business as usual”.

Forshaw explained that as the housing market is set to remain open, it would be business as usual for the firm.

He said: “We have all been working to COVID-safe principles for months, so we are much better prepared to deal with the challenges of a second lockdown.”

Furthermore, as viewings will continue to be able to take place, and much of the conveyancing process is done remotely through the use of technology, Forshaw does not believe there will be large disruptions.

Forshaw added: “Of course, there will be some uncertainty and house buyers will be working out what it means for them, but if they want to move we will be there for them to make it happen.”

Meanwhile, Liz Syms, chief executive of Connect for Intermediaries believes that the second lockdown could slow down demand.

She said: “While valuers can still visit properties and estate agents can still list them, it is possible that this second lockdown will slow down demand temporarily.”

However, Syms believes this may be a welcome reprieve for lenders in the short term to help them to catch up on any backlogs they may have due to the huge volumes that have been seen over the past few months.

She added: “Although that surge is bound to continue again at the end of the lockdown. I expect further calls for the stamp duty holiday to be extended so that people can buy properties after the lockdown ends and still benefit from the stamp duty relief.”

John Goodall, chief executive of Landbay noted that the primary difference between this lockdown and the previous one is that the housing market stays open for business.

He explained: “This means that valuers can continue to value properties while following social distancing rules and people can continue to move house.”

Goodall concurs with Forshaw, outlining that Landbay is also, “business as usual.”

He added: “Service standards will be key over the next few months with the stamp duty holiday deadline looming, and it increases the need for the stamp duty holiday to be extended beyond 31 March, so that property transactions can complete in time.”

Richard Pike, sales and marketing director of Phoebus Software believes that a second national lockdown could deflate the housing market if an extension to the stamp duty holiday is not agreed.

He said: “The current health of the housing market remains strong. However, even though we have experienced a national lockdown before, we are entering uncharted territories. We cannot be certain this latest lockdown will not jeopardise thousands of sales already in the pipeline.”

Pike added: “Knowing that completions are already facing major delays, the government must act to ensure those having started the process do not fall at the final hurdle because of delays they have no control over.”


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