UK customers still want to move

Jun 22 | 2020

The coronavirus crisis brought the housing market to a grinding halt, but home movers across the UK remain determined to press ahead with their plans at the earliest opportunity, according to a survey of its customers carried out by reallymoving, the comparison site for home movers.

reallymoving---reasons-why-people-are-no-longer-proceeding-with-home-movesIn the first survey gauging the sentiment and intentions of home movers since restrictions on movement began, 75% of those who were at the early stages of planning a home move indicated that they still want to move as soon as possible, with a further 18% still hoping to move later this year. Just 7% had scrapped their plans because they were no longer willing or able to move home. Most buyers and sellers sensibly took advantage of the period of lockdown to prepare their property for sale and research areas to move to, as well as talking to agents about property that may be about to hit the market.

Those who have agreed a deal and are already in the process of buying and selling a property when the lockdown commenced potentially have the most to lose, having already invested money in the transaction. Sensibly, most (62%) used the lockdown period to get as far ahead as possible so they’re ready to hit the ground running. A third (29%) have decided to put their transaction on pause temporarily, while 6% are no longer willing or able to proceed and 3% have already seen their chain collapse.

The key concerns of buyers and sellers who are no longer proceeding with their home move are clear, with the main reason for withdrawing being nervousness over house price falls (26%). One respondent commented, “We’re in our mid 20s and probably wouldn’t have stayed in the property long enough to get over the negative equity of the originally agreed price.” Other worries include: someone in the chain pulling out (17%), concern over job security/lost job (16%) and lost confidence in the economy (16%).

The vast majority (92%) of sellers who are marketing their homes but haven’t yet found a buyer are planning to leave their property on the market currently, taking advantage of the fact that buyers may have more time on their hands to search for property online during lockdown.

reallymoving’s CEO Rob Houghton said, “Home movers at all stages of the process currently remain determined to press ahead at the earliest opportunity, suggesting we could see a quick recovery in housing market activity now the restrictions have been eased.”

Rob explained that before the coronavirus crisis hit, the UK was experiencing the strongest spring market for several years and this research suggests that demand has not yet melted away. “But considering the main concern for movers is falling house prices, picking up the pieces of an existing move may require a renegotiation of the price along the chain and for some parties, particularly those who have had their incomes reduced, that move could become unviable. Until activity resumes it will be difficult to predict the full impact on volumes and prices, but it’s encouraging to hear the determination of buyers and sellers to stick with their plans and progress their move as soon as possible..”

Graph: Reasons why people are no longer proceeding with home moves