The number of farms, land and rural property marketed since the restrictions on estate agents were relaxed in mid-May has increased drastically and so has demand from buyers. The summer market is now well and truly up to speed with a significant level of activity for all types of property, both from buyers and sellers.
The lockdown introduced to control Coronavirus prevented agents from inspecting properties, owners from offering properties for sale and buyers from viewing properties bringing the majority of the property market to a standstill. An exception to this was bare land sales where all parties could observe social distancing and still fully inspect a property before proceeding to purchase, although a significant amount of caution was shown by buyers in the offers made during the lockdown and certainly several parties removed themselves from the market for a time.
As the restrictions on viewing properties were relaxed from mid-May the level of activity seen has increased significantly, both in terms of new instructions, viewings and deals done. This trend seems set to continue over the summer as demand continues to outstrip supply in many areas and people look to bring their properties to the market after what, for some, has been a significant delay from both Covid and Brexit negotiations.
Demand for land and farms remains strong, fueled by a lack of supply over the last 2 years as people have delayed marketing properties due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. In addition, caution is now shown against investments in stocks and shares which dropped significantly at the outset of the pandemic with farmland still seen as a secure long-term investment and with its current taxation benefits. The unprecedented low interest rates mean money has never been as cheap to borrow making property even more affordable for buyers.
Although there is speculation that house prices nationally may drop following the pandemic if we enter a recession, properties in rural areas may actually buck this trend as there is a rush of people looking to move out of large settlements to rural areas with space, both internally for a home office and externally for their physical and mental well being. As a result, demand for rural residential properties is now seeing a significant increase. The world in which we live has changed drastically over the last 2 months and many things may never return to how they were before Covid-19. The pandemic has pushed technology on several years with all age groups now being familiar with Zoom video calls and working from home becoming the norm for many. The requirement for people to commute into a city center office is reduced and properties with good broadband speeds, outside space and access to the countryside are likely to remain highly desirable for the foreseeable future.
Although the property markets have opened up quickly and with buoyant trade and increased demand, caution should be taken as economists predict a recession post pandemic. The government has committed significant sums in support of the economy during this recent crisis and these funds will have to be recouped in years to come through increased taxes. Many experts are predicting adjustments to capital taxes (Capital Gains and Inheritance Tax) in the coming years which will no doubt impact on property values. It may transpire that now is a sellers’ market and anyone considering selling would be wise to consider their position before the market changes through either over supply or reduced demand as a result of taxation changes or reduced levels of available funds.
For impartial independent marketing advice across the Yorkshire region, please contact Andrew Hardcastle on 01423 860322.