The impact of COVID-19 on the London Property Market

As the world faces unprecedented circumstances and the UK enters an indefinite period of uncertainty, people are anxious to know how the seemingly invincible London property market will hold up.

While reports suggest that naturally the market will slow over the coming months, there are some signs of assurance.

London House Viewings

As the UK is in a period of lockdown, the number of house viewings has dropped dramatically. Agents will turn their attention to finding innovative new ways to try and help business continue and adopt a new normal, most probably by utilising technology and offering virtual viewings and meetings conducted via webcam, a trend that if done effectively could prove popular with overseas buyers and continue long past the COVID-19 outbreak.

Prior to the pandemic, the London property market was at its strongest since before the EU Referendum, with asking prices showing the biggest annual increase since May 2016.

Naturally, this has now curbed. However, many home sales that were already in progress before the most recent governmental advice have continued to go ahead in London.

With so much uncertainty around the market, the majority of movement will be created by the most motivated buyers and sellers – e.g. those for whom the stakes are the highest.

Overseas London Investment

For overseas buyers who view London as a safe haven for investment – how will the COVID-19 pandemic affect their decisions as to where to place their money? According to prime London agents – London is still regarded as safe.

There have been reports of blind bids and completed transactions after video viewings from clients overseas who can no longer travel due to the new restrictions, but who know the value of property in London will ultimately outlive whatever is thrown at the market.

The Future

While the immediate market may have slowed, the prime London long range forecast remains hopeful. With the collapse of the stock market over recent weeks and the decline in shares, prime London property is looking like as much of a good investment as ever.

Whatever happens in the coming months, the long-term market for London still holds a degree of assurance. The challenge lies with how agencies will adapt to the new circumstances – changes that could help to shape the property market for years to come.

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