Renters, landlords, agents and homebuyers all breathed a sigh of relief on Halloween when the government announced moves could continue despite the latest foreclosure across England.
Unlike March, when the entire housing market briefly came to a halt, this month will see rentals and purchases continue to take place. And while this is good news for a crucial section of the UK economy, the significance of this announcement goes much further.
Keeping the real estate market open and trading will remove a huge amount of potential anxiety from people’s lives. This means that the home concept can be protected, researched and secured this winter. Because having a safe and secure home over the next few months will mean more than ever before.
People from all walks of life will benefit from this news. For example, students in their first and second years of university – those young people who have already passed the bell in recent months – are currently seeking to confirm their student accommodation for the next university year. Making sure they can find and finalize their home will provide light at the end of the tunnel and prevent a mad rush for housing in the New Year.
For other tenants, the past eight months have triggered the need for new housing or prompted them to move into new premises. These changing needs of the UK’s 20 million tenants should not be forgotten.
Whether it’s a more affordable rent, an outdoor space or a move out of town; The announcement means tenants have options as many are looking into the barrel of an uncertain future or striving to create a new life for themselves.
With evictions still pending and tenant situations fluctuating, the ability to search for new rentals will also be a relief for homeowners anxious to cover their mortgage costs.
Had the market been put on ice again, tenants struggling with arrears but no way to move on would have exacerbated a rapidly growing debt problem that is expected to leave the courts in 2021, drowned in a backlog of debt. ‘evictions and rental disputes.
Likewise, first-time buyers and those who wish to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday will be able to go ahead with their purchases, their dream of homeownership always at hand. For those who were already buying or selling, having the rug removed from under them on Christmas Eve would have had a huge impact; for families who want to move in or out, as well as real estate agents, mortgage brokers and land surveyors who worked around the clock to deal with home buyers before the March stamp duty deadline.
Of course, the entire industry has a responsibility to ensure that rentals, sales, and moves can proceed safely in the weeks to come. Failure to do so would compromise the ability of the industry to continue to operate. The fact that the industry has increasingly embraced the technology in recent years ensures that things can keep moving safely: from virtual viewings and paperless contracts to automated rental renewals and facial recognition software. .
By minimizing in-person contact and increasing the role of this technology, rental agents can help families and individuals across the country find the homes they need or secure their current living conditions, as we let’s go into winter.
This has been a heavy year for the housing market as a whole – characterized by a long period of limbo followed by rampant activity in rentals and sales. Our responsibility now is to keep the ship stable despite the uncertainty of the months ahead and to keep the sector open for business.
* William Reeve is CEO of Goodlord