The housing market vs. Coronavirus

As millions continue to work from home, and with stamp duty suspended until 2021, the housing market has seen a 'mini-boom' as people re-evaluate their living situations...

The stamp duty holiday appears to have had the desired impact with the property market currently experiencing a ‘mini-boom’. Whilst only a month ago commentators were talking about low rates of mortgage approvals and reductions in property values of up to 10%, the sector has bounced back with significant increases in enquiries and record average property prices.  

Some of this can be attributed to demand being released from the 2 months where transactions were delayed, as well as homeowners rethinking their lifestyles and future proofing in the event of further lockdowns, and, of course, those wishing to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday until March 2021 

In recent months, many people have worked effectively from home and this is causing people to re-evaluate where they choose to live and how they use their space at home. There has been a surge in interest in rural and coastal areas, with more city dwellers looking to move to locations where there is more outdoor space, enabling better social distancing, a ‘healthier’ less polluted environment and also, importantly, areas where they can get more for their money. The impact of this shift can already been seen in London where increases in property prices are not mirroring the rest of the UK and also average rental income is significantly down.

So what does this mean for High Net Worth customers and insurance requirements?  Of course, it is too early to say but we could potentially anticipate the following trends: 

  • More main family homes in provincial areas with city pads for those days when people need to be in the office, or want to experience London’s culture and buzz at the weekend for short breaks
  • For those staying in the city, homes with larger gardens or more space will become increasingly attractive
  • Digital connectivity will be essential for a property to achieve its potential value with more of us routinely working from home
  • Greater buy-to-lets in more provincial areas
  • More building works projects are likely to be undertaken for those not wishing to move as the lockdown has provided an opportunity to understand how they need to live in their homes in the future and also the time to plan (Reminder - if a client is planning on undertaking any building works to their property they need to let you, or us know before commencing)
  • And last but by no means least, the importance of good online security will have a higher profile with the public and the automatic inclusion of cyber cover given the increasing frequency of cyber-attacks in recent months will become common place. We’re proud to provide Cyber cover for home systems damage, cyber liability and cybercrime automatically in both our Executive Home and Executive Plus products.

 

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