Although the property market seemed to ground to a halt at the start of the lockdown, news emerges from several areas that things were still moving; albeit slowly, and since last Monday are picking up again.
“Auction House UK” is a countrywide network of auction houses, which during the last few years normally sell over 3000 properties each year. They have revealed that during April, when the lockdown was at its most stringent, they sold hundreds of lots via live streaming and online auction practices. The sales raised revenue of over £20 million for the property sellers.
“Rightmove” announced that online searches rose by over 45% the morning after the UK government reopened the housing market and that new listings on their website rose by 2100 in the first five hours. Enquiries to agents also rose by 70% from the week before.
The government has also been busy; introducing a new online system to allow tenants receiving Universal Credit to have their rent payments automatically paid to their landlords. In the past, this method, known as “Alternative Payment Arrangements”, required 2 forms to be completed by hand and a timeline that took on average, three weeks to process. With the new online system, this can be set up within hours.