So, here we are again. The spring lockdown froze the housing market, but this time round property transactions have escaped the restrictions of version 1.
In the first lockdown, all but essential moves were banned and buyers were urged to postpone their purchases. As a result, around 450,000 moves were frozen.
Without any guidance in Boris Johnson's announcement of the second lockdown, the property industry feared that the summer's exceptionally high number of transactions could be in jeopardy, so the Housing Minister's tweet came as welcome news.
The various parties involved honed their lockdown skills in the spring, but with mortgage lenders occupied with processing payment deferrals and the conveyancing system still reliant upon archaic paper based systems, buyers and sellers should be prepared for slower transaction speeds - important for those looking to take advantage of England's stamp duty holiday.
Looking further ahead, it is difficult to predict any effect on property values. The current rate of price increases is being driven by second/third steppers with substantial deposits - the market sector with most to gain from stamp duty relief. With the market all but closed to first time buyers by current mortgage restrictions, the high transaction volumes must inevitably run out of steam. Major industry players suggest a flat 2021 before a strong pick up the following year.