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Property professionals seek swift return to work post lockdown

Updated: Jul 10

The Guild of Property Professionals and epropservices (parent company of Fine & Country) have urged the government to allow estate and letting agents to return to work swiftly post lockdown and of course, do so in a safe way. The rationale - most estates agents have the tools, processes and services to carry out the home buying process virtually through means of video viewings and valuations, and electronic contracts and documentation.


In an open letter to the government, Jon Cooke, epropservices chief executive says:

“As the government establishes a strategy around restarting economic activity, it is important that our industry is allowed to open, operate and transact. Our sector can play a key part in the drive to getting the economy on its feet again.”

The letter contains some interesting facts:


- there are approximately 51,000 estate agents and auctioneers as well as others who rely on the property sector for work


- a study by Oxford Economics, averaged over the past 10 years, indicates that housing activity makes a substantial contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP):

 

  • rents contributed an estimated 13.8% to household spending (8.6% of GDP)


  • dwellings contributed 20.4% of total fixed investment (3.6% of GDP)


  • house building contributed an estimated 2.2% of Gross Value Added


- during 2019, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) income was £4,545 billion (compared to an average of £4,673 billion for the last 4 years)


- the average price of a property sold in 2019 was £235,000, with SDLT in the region of £2,200 per home (Land Registry)

- in February 2020, the forecast UK housing transactions between 2018 to 2022, showed an increase from 1.18 million (2018) to 1.3 million (2022) and an average of 1.21 million


- there are 163,000 properties (Sale Agreed and Searches Ordered) as at 31 March 2020. There's an additional 155,000 properties (Sales Agreed but not yet had Searches Ordered). If these move ahead, based on an average SDLT of £2,200 per home, this could results in potentially generating £699,600,000 in income for the treasury in the first 12 weeks after lockdown (TwentyCI)

- if normal lending resumes, there is significant revenue for the Government to recover in the remainder of 2020


- with interest rates at historic lows, there could be many more people encouraged to move houses


- the housing market is intrinsically tied to the economy’s resurrection and the largest prime consumer group for retailers selling big-ticket items eg. beds are home movers (TwentyCI)


- annually, there is an average of 4 million moves (sales and lettings) and excluding the property purchase and transaction costs, these consumers spend £12 billion, from six months prior to the more to more than a year past the move and beyond

It is proposed that:


- household Covid-19 status will need to be provided


- clients will be graded according to vulnerability


- all clients will be asked to sign a declaration of permission before anyone visits the property


- no open houses will be carried out


- no accompanied viewings will be undertaken

Do you think these measures will be sufficient to get the economy moving again and re-invigorate the housing market and will keep us all safe? Let us know at info@sortstyleandstage.com




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