Sarah is here to help house buyers and sellers get to grips with the conveyancing process. This month, she discusses the pent-up demand that is driving a sharp spike in the property market…
It has been a busy old month since my last blog, with an abundance of new enquiries and house sales crossing my desk.
The volume of transactions we would expect this time of year is still lower than normal, but following the removal of lockdown restrictions on the housing market in May, there has been a growing number of properties going up for sale and purchases being agreed, leading to a situation where demand outweighs supply.
Will we see the traditional summer holiday slow-down in the property market this year?
The number of transactions does usually dip in July and August, once the school holidays begin, but this year might be an exception. I suspect demand will remain strong in coming weeks, to allow the market to catch up with the lack of progress made during lockdown.
If you are wanting to sell or purchase a property, it may still be worth pursuing during the summer months, rather than waiting until September. So many annual holidays have been cancelled or postponed and homeowners are now eager to progress transactions that couldn’t be dealt with earlier in the year.
Has the completion process evolved in the last month?
In the current circumstances, property transactions are still being exchanged and completed simultaneously, to prevent anyone breaching their contract by having to self-isolate.
This does cause some anxiety, as there is no guarantee your sale or purchase will actually proceed until the day you are due to move, but it is not a huge issue. Most are progressing to a successful completion.
As lockdown restrictions continue to lift, we will be able to return to leaving a week or two between exchange and completion, as required by the parties in the chain. This will give you the certainty you need to confirm removals and make arrangements, knowing that everyone is legally bound to see the transaction through.
I’m really not happy about exchanging and completing the same day, is there anything I can do?
If simultaneous exchange and completion is not for you, there are various clauses and riders your solicitor can write into the contract to deal with the Covid situation, whilst allowing you to exchange.
I would recommend contacting your adviser, if you wish to progress in this manner, for further advice. The basic premise is that the contract will be extended beyond the completion date, if it becomes necessary for you to self-isolate and you cannot move house.
If you have any worries about selling or purchasing a property in the current climate, don’t hesitate to contact me or my conveyancing colleagues for reassurance on (0114) 218 4000.
If you have a question about moving home, our residential property expert, Sarah Gaunt, would love to hear from you. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org