A Surveyors view – How is the coronavirus impacting the housing market

By Joe Arnold

You know that feeling when you are at home self-isolating, binge watching a boxset and you receive a work call so you have to hurriedly hit the pause button to take the call – this is essentially, in my view, what is going to happen to the residential property market. It will be on pause – no supply and no demand.

My first economics lecture taught me the basics, supply and demand are the key principles to property values. No supply and high demand = growth, high supply and low demand = decline, equal supply and demand = plateau. With everyone on lockdown, so too is the purchase market, although those estate agents who took up 360 virtual tours will be able to continue to show their stock.

I do not have a crystal ball and I do not know when this will end, in the same way I cannot predict house price movement. If we can contain this fast, we can hopefully get back to the new state of normality. The longer it takes, the more potentially draining it will be on resources. People are likely to have less disposable income and will probably need to dip into their savings, and this could impact on the deposits that have been saved to buy property. 

For those of you who know me, you know that I am a positive person and I always like to look on the bright side of life. Transactions that are already well advanced are likely to proceed, albeit with the potential of some complications around the completion date and, of course, the remortgage market remains a source of significant activity for brokers

Surveyors, at this stage, are mostly on lockdown, but only from a property inspection perspective. We are still working, as are you, but just from home. The market can continue as we use desktop valuations and we have already been advised that physical inspections will not be mandatory for many of our lender clients. 

When you are placing remortgage business and deciding on your choice of lender it will be important, for the time being, to consider the valuation techniques accepted by that lender and to work with surveyors, like Arnold & Baldwin, that are able to deliver those desktop valuations.

Take advantage of low interest rates to work your back book and take a proactive approach to contacting, reassuring and advising your clients throughout this difficult period. This will help to keep your business ticking over while the purchase market is set to pause.

Now is also a good opportunity to spend time refining processes, systems, content – all of which could help businesses to emerge stronger on the other side. And, of course, it is important that you focus on what matters most – the wellbeing of your family, friends, colleagues and community. If you are able to, think about ways you could help your community. At Arnold & Baldwin, for example, we have offered our vacant office space to the NHS to utilise in any way they would like, potentially as additional capacity for a 111 call centre.
These small steps can make a big difference, as we all pull together to emerge from this difficult situation as quickly and in as good shape as possible.

 

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About the author

Joe Arnold avatar

Joe Arnold

Joe is the guiding force behind Arnold & Baldwin and has overall responsibility for all commercial and residential surveys and valuations. Passionate about delivering the highest quality products at the fairest prices possible, he has been consistently searching for new and innovative client-focused services since founding the company with Jobie in 2007

Read more about Joe Arnold

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CLARE MCSHANE

Professional, efficient surveyors. Get the job done in a timely manner, had our survey back within 5 days of inspection. All team members I spoke with (Tiffany and Billy) were really lovely. Highly recommend. :)

RICARDO OLIVEIRA

I have only just started working with Stephen and he has already demonstrated the high levels of customer attention and dedication that this company has. The first impression he has caused is such that made me write this review. I have no doubt that the continuous service will be of same level. Looking forward to working further with Stephen. Well done!

Steve Kenny

Lease extension - I found Daniel Grove very professional and had an excellent understanding of all aspects relating to this transaction. Advice was invaluable, and it was nice to come across someone who did exactly what they said they were going to do. Would not hesitate in recommending the firm and Daniel to anyone who has a lease to extend.

Petros Kyrkilis

Amazing job and fully professional treatment. The surveyor went above and beyond to check for everything, when he could have easily claim lack of access. In addition he was more than happy to answer questions over the phone and be there to explain the steps.

Lynn Wilson

Within 48 hours I received my detailed report from Joe Arnold which enabled me to see the property as it was and not through rose-tinted glasses! The report highlighted areas where money might need to be spent and provided guidance on questions for my solicitor - just what I needed. Overall, the survey enabled me to re-assess my offer and in this respect was invaluable. Thank you for a friendly and professional service.

Mark Roberts

100% choose this company. As first time buyers we had a mortgage valuation which said the house was fine. The Arnold & Baldwin survey found over £30,000 of problems. Holes in the roof with daylight visible, damp, woodworm, broken sash windows and poor electrics. This company helped us renegotiate and save a fortune.

Joebun

Arnold & Baldwin came recommended and I’ve got to say they were brilliant - not just in identifying issues with the property I was looking at but in the way they kept me informed and up to date (ie picking up the phone instead of just posting / emailing communications with you). After dealing with estate agents for so long, it’s nice to have someone who is genuinely on your side.

Kamal Rahman

From my initial interaction with the firm I found them to be prompt, courteous and helpful. I received a detailed Homebuyers report within a week of instructing and was given the opportunity to talk it through with the attending surveyour. Overall excellent service all round, would certainly recommend this firm.

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