What do you think about the Covid-19 vaccine rollout and the UK property market?
This is a question that people have been asking me since it was announced that there would be a rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine to everyone in the UK.
In this post I will provide you with the opinion of experts in the UK property market on what impact the Covid-19 vaccine rollout will have. I will also give you my own opinion on this subject.
It is amazing to me what little impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the UK property market to date. The lockdowns in the UK have made property transactions a lot more difficult, if not impossible. But as soon as there is an easing of any lockdowns, the market seems to bounce right back and then some.
You are probably fed up and very frustrated, just as I am, with the Covid-19 pandemic. Although it has not stopped me moving forward with my property investment projects it has certainly caused a number of problems. How has the pandemic affected your property investment business?
I do everything that I can to protect myself and my family from the coronavirus. Whenever I go outside, I always wear a mask and observe the social distancing rules. Unfortunately, not all UK citizens take this as seriously as I do. The Covid-19 vaccine rollout cannot come quick enough for me.
Optimism about the impact of the Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout and the UK Property Market
The well-known London estate agent Savills, conducted a survey in early December 2020, to identify what people thought the impact of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout would be on the UK property market.
There has been a lot of concern expressed over the ending of the government stamp duty holiday on 31 March 2021 and how this will affect the property market in the UK. The more pessimistic experts believe that the end of the stamp duty holiday will signal a rapid decline in the property market and a subsequent fall in house prices.
So, the aim of the Savills survey was to check out how people felt about this given the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine which started at the end of 2020. What you need to bear in mind here is that Savills are in the “prime market” niche but I believe that the response they received will apply to the majority of the UK property market.
There were over 1,300 survey participants who were all prospective prime market buyers and sellers. Some 13% of the survey participants stated that the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine has increased their commitment to moving house by the end of March 2021, and 23% said that they would move in the next year as their confidence had increased with the news of the rollout.
Savills also asked their survey participants how they felt about the lockdowns in the UK and whether these had changed their opinion about buying and selling property. Around 67% of the participants stated that the UK lockdowns had not affected their property plans for the coming year and about 17% said that they were even more committed to move.
Other UK Property Market Experts are Confident
Leading estate agents, Winkworth, feel confident that the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine in the UK will have a positive impact on the housing market in 2021. They predict that the rollout will spark a recovery of the UK economy and that this will result in an increase in confidence with the property market.
One of their spokes people suggested that the Covid-19 vaccine rollout is likely to create a property market “bounce”. He reasons that people that have put off their plans to buy or sell property will be more willing to take the plunge as the vaccine rollout gathers momentum.
He also firmly believes that the Covid-19 vaccine rollout will balance out the impact of the stamp duty holiday closing on March 31, 2021. Without the vaccine rollout, there would likely be a sharp fall in demand for property transactions after the stamp duty holiday ended. But the vaccine rollout will make buyers and sellers more confident and likely to go ahead with their plans.
People are likely to return to the Big Cities?
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, a lot more people are now working from home. This resulted in a lot of people moving away from the big cities in the UK and relocating to the countryside so that they can have additional space and a more comfortable home.
The CEO of Winkworth, Dominic Agace, believes that many young professionals will make a return to the big cities in the UK as the Covid-19 rollout nears completion. He feels that these young people will want to return to cities like London because they want to focus on their careers. If this happens there will be an increase in demand for city housing.
Moving to the countryside is all very well but Agace believes that people will miss the “buzz” that city life provides. In remote areas, young professionals do not have a lot of options for recreation and entertainment. Yes, it is a nice quiet life, but they will really miss that big city buzz.
This doesn’t mean that the appeal of moving out of the city and into the country will totally lose its appeal. A lot of companies have saved money by having a lot of their workers stay at home during the pandemic. Many of these companies are likely to keep this going after the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.
You can get a lot more for your money in rural areas than you can in big cities and this will still have strong appeal for many. There will be some people that really like the idea of moving to a larger property in the country for the same, or even less money. This will help property sales in these areas.
The exciting prospect of Returning to Normal
Everyone is hoping that the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine will eventually lead to a “return to normal life”. Personally, I feel that there will be a new “normal” after the vaccine rollout. There will probably be little requirement for lockdowns unless the government identify problem areas in the country.
Anything like a return to normal should have a positive impact on the UK housing market. Even if people still have to observe certain rules (which I expect), they will be able to get out and about and conduct new property transactions. This should result in an increase in house prices or at least a stabilisation of the prices.
Winkworth’s agree with this point of view and believe that the Covid-19 vaccine rollout will give the UK hope again. They believe that this will create a stronger economy and housing market. We are all fed up to the back teeth with the coronavirus and all of the restrictions, so this is a reasonable point of view to take.
My Opinion on the Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout and the UK Property Market
I consider myself to be an optimistic person but I am also a realist. Like everyone else, I was excited to learn that the Covid-19 vaccine had been approved for rollout in the UK. But I can see some problems with this that may affect the property market.
Firstly, there are going to be some people that will refuse the virus. I don’t know what numbers we are talking about here, but even if a small percentage of the population refuses to have the vaccine it means that there is some risk for the rest of us.
I have spoken to people in my circle of family and friends who tell me that they will not be taking advantage of the vaccine. There are a lot of stupid conspiracy theories floating around at the moment about the coronavirus vaccine.
My favourite of these, and probably the most stupid, is that Microsoft CEO, Bill Gates has somehow added “nano bots” to the vaccine so that he can control everyone. It is amazing to me that people believe these things.
The bottom line here is that a return to normal seems pretty unlikely for quite a while. Because the vaccines are new, there is no real evidence concerning how effective they really are. Time will tell here. Of course, I hope that the vaccines will be very effective – I can’t wait to get mine.
As I have said in my posts about the coronavirus and Brexit before, a good property investor will find opportunities in the face of adversity. If house prices do take a nose dive then you will be able to find some very good properties at a low price. It is all about keeping your finger on the pulse and acting swiftly when opportunities present themselves.