In this article, Nest Wise Property looks at the recent announcement made by the Welsh Government and the possible effects it will have on the housing market. It also provides an update on our previous article The Housing Marketing In Wales

In a recent announcement the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford stated that the housing market in Wales is able to partially reopen from Monday 22 June 2020. During the announcement, it was noted that estate agent’s offices can be opened and that the five-mile coronavirus travel restrictions do not apply for the property sector. 

However, there are regulations in place to ensure the safety of the public.

What are the regulations?

The Welsh Government has said that moving house can go ahead where the residential property has been vacant for at least 72 hours. In addition, house sales can be completed where a sale has previously been agreed.

Estate agents are now also allowed to market and hold viewings of unoccupied residential properties and valuations or inspections of occupied residential property can be carried out but should be done so safely and in line with Welsh Government guidance. House moves are not allowed to take place where the residential property is occupied. However, estate agents are able to prepare for marketing those properties subject to a full reopening of the sector.  

In summary, the housing industry is having to adapt and change. Estate agents will still need to continue with virtual viewings to maintain the safety of their clients and only carry out physical viewings when it is safe to do so.

Possible effects on the housing market.

Although the market has opened it is unclear the extent to which its volumes and prices will be effected by the pandemic.

There is still uncertainty about whether or not consumers are going to come forward to buy. For example, it has been widely reported that UK house prices could fall this year as economic uncertainty continues in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Savills have noted that “based on the pace of the post-recession recovery predicted by Oxford Economics, we would expect the pandemic to have a more limited and shorter-lived impact on house prices than either the early-1990s recession or the Global Financial Crisis. Short-term price falls could be in the order of -5% to -10%, but on very low levels of transactions.”

However, Rightmove reported that its site had more than 6 million visits for the first time on May 27, an annual rise of 18% over last year. In England, the company has seen 40,000 new sales agreed since the market resumed on 13th May, with buyers agreeing to pay 97.7% of asking prices on average.

In short, it is far too early to tell exactly what impact the coronavirus will have on house prices, and its likely that the figures we see in the coming weeks and months will fluctuate significantly.

More information can be found on the Government website here: https://gov.wales/first-minister-announces-further-steps-to-unlock-wales