Buying or selling during Coronavirus

What extraordinary times these are – who would have imagined that the housing market would come to an almost standstill due to a flu virus?

The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic happened so quickly and has changed life so radically.

Buying, selling, and moving home is a stressful part of life normally, but add the current restraints imposed, and the ‘UK Lock-down’ it must be exasperating for thousands of people in the midst of buying or selling.

‘Self-isolation’ and ‘social distancing’ are new behaviours we all comply with now and were unthinkable even six weeks ago, but these two restraints have disabled a great many activities involved with instructing an estate agent and/or holding viewings, followed by conveyancing – are these essential workers?

I am amazed that new properties are still coming to the market on Rightmove, but noticed that one local agent explained that all the photographs used were taken by the owner and uploaded to the agent for use on their Rightmove portal.  It is possible to do viewings without the owner or agent being present so that social distancing is adhered to, but this approach is far from ideal.  Needs must I suppose because there will be scenarios where selling (and buying) is urgent and can’t wait until ‘lock-down’ ends in 3 days/weeks/months or even as long as 12 months!

Here is an article by Rightmove that may give some guidance:

Government issues coronavirus advice for movers

Selling your property timescales

New property sellers take 8 weeks on average to find a buyer, and from agreeing a sale to moving in takes on average 13 weeks, according to August 2018 Rightmove House Price Index Report.

As it’s only 18 weeks to Christmas the prospect of a new home to decorate your tree and serve turkey is possible but tight!


moving home timescales

May 2018 prices

The average price of properties continues to increase, which can be viewed as good news for those people on the property ladder (and not intending to move or do want to down-size) and property investors/developers, but not such good news for hopeful first time buyers.

The average asking price is now calculated to be £308,075, which is a 1.1% increase from last year this time.

Back in 2013 the target for first time buyers to try to achieve was calculated as £240,000 as an average asking price  across the country, that is quite a large leap in just five years – it is a moving beast for those people saving hard to achieve a deposit.

By my calculations, the increase of £68,075 would necessitate an increased deposit (assuming it to be on average 10%) of £30,807 instead of £24,000 back in 2013, however the average asking price of properties for First Time Buyers is £190,585, meaning a deposit is needed of over £19,000 – that is a lot of sacrifices and saving per month.

Another statistic to be aware of is that agreed sales in May 2018 are down 5.4% and the worst area to be hit is London and the commuter belt.

The statistics that is relevant to Cherry Picked Choices are those for Northamptonshire and North Devon, they are as follows:

  • East Midlands properties average price for May 2018 is £223,266, an annual change of 4.8% with it taking on average 54 days to sell.
  • South West properties average price for May 2018 is £308,750, an annual change of 2.9% with it taking on average 55 days to sell.

It would seem that North Devon, being in the South West, could be in line with the average prices across the country, and you would get more property for your money in Northamptonshire, being in the East Midlands.

These figures were taken from the House Price Index available on Rightmove.

Contact Cherry Picked Choices to help you locate the property you are looking for, at the price to suit you.

Stereo-typical chocolate box cottages are all over the UK