Coronavirus has played havoc with just about everything in the world over the past few months. But, there does appear to be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, as lockdown restrictions appear to be easing and the world is slowly starting to return to some degree of normalcy. This has been welcome news for homeowners and property buyers across the country, as the lockdown lifting has seen a spike in housing prices. 

It is clear that people are perhaps a little concerned about the issue of something like this happening again, or a second wave hitting, so they want to get the most for their money as much as possible. Indeed, figures from Rightmove have shown that optimistic sellers are actually raising their prices in spite of the global pandemic, with some estate agents revealing its best-ever week outside of London. 

This suggests a couple of things to look for in the changing buyer trends, and this could signify a change in direction when it comes to the modern housing market. Sellers are pricing their homes higher than they were back in March, with the average asking price seeing a rise of around 1.9% to approximately £337,884.

Viewings, sales, and moves were put on hold for eight weeks during the nationwide lockdown, and this hit a lot of industries hard, housing is no different. However, since the ban has been lifted, the market is bouncing back, with a staggering 40,000 sales having been agreed in just the 4 weeks since restrictions were eased off. 

People are clearly in the market for new homes, and a lot of people are looking to move out of the city. Now, there could be a number of reasons for this, but it is clear that people’s lives have been affected by this pandemic in a big way. The cost of living in London is high, and this pandemic has caused a lot of people financial difficulty. Buyers have probably calculated that it would make much more long-term sense to buy outside of the city due to their new financial situation. 

Another factor that could well be driving a buying frenzy in recent weeks is that buyers are placing high value on having a garden or outside space. Since lockdown, much more value has been placed on having a garden or an outside space where people can spend time if they are confined to their homes.

It’s also worth noting that there will have been two months of demand building up to a backlog of people looking to move who weren’t able to. Perhaps aware of this, buyers could well have hiked up prices, anticipating that they would get the business. So many people’s lives have changed in so many ways during COVID-19, and whether they are downsizing or simply moving away for a better quality of life, it’s clear that moving house has been in high demand of late. 

These figures have all come as a major surprise to the industry as a whole, with the Bank of England originally predicting a 16% drop in house prices. Interestingly, there are no signs of panic selling as you might expect, and the figure for markets outside London was the highest recorded since March 2018.

Lockdown has made so many people reassess their lives in a lot of ways, agents have said, and this has led to people reevaluating what they want to get out of their homes. One of the key focal points here has been a focus on more outdoor space. Also noted was the fact that workers believe they will have to make less trips into the office and the city centre for work. This is mostly due to the rise in the number of people working from home since the pandemic hit, which is causing businesses to rethink the way they operate.  

And with fewer houses available, it seems like the prices have held for now. Figures also indicate that some 175,000 sellers were missing from the market, and these new sellers could well affect the direction the market will take in the next few months.

Experts are predicting that the remainder of the year might look a little bleaker, with things like inflation, a global recession, and unemployment playing roles in the market, and impacting prices in a lot of ways. The future remains unknown, and we are heading toward something that we have never experienced before. How much this affects the housing market, and whether this is a positive or negative thing, remains to be seen.