Property Market Coronavirus Impact Advice, COVID-19 Real Estate Tips in 2020, Guide

Coronavirus Impact on Property Market

12 June 2020

Contsruction Output down due to COVID-19

New Figures Show Largest Fall In Construction Output On Record: Industry Comment

Commenting on the new construction output figures published by the ONS today which show a 40% drop in contsruction output for April – the largest monthly fall since monthly records began – Clive Docwra, Managing Director of leading construction consulting and design agency McBains, said:

“Today’s figures are further confirmation that the construction sector will face a hugely tough time to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Particular concerns are private new housing work seeing a third consecutive month of large decline, exacerbated by the Covid-19 lockdown on April and now at its lowest level for a decade – bad news for the industry but also for prospective homeowners given the housing shortage. The record fall in private commercial new work also reflects the pause button being pressed on major projects.

“Hopefully today’s figures will represent the nadir given they cover the full month of lockdown, but while many large construction firms are now resuming work, many will still weakened by reduced order pipelines over the next few months.
“Firms are also experiencing labour shortages, supply chains are still operating extremely slowly and cashflow is becoming an increasingly pressing issue as cash reserves dry up. The government needs to stimulate demand, for example through reducing VAT on repair and maintenance work.”

5 June 2020

House Prices still down due to COVID-19

UK House Price Decreases Reaction

As house prices decline and Nationwide and Halifax report month-on-month decreases on the average house price in May 2020, Miles Robinson, Head of Mortgages at online mortgage broker Trussle, comments:

It’s certainly no surprise to see reports from Halifax and Nationwide this week reporting a fall  in house prices (0.2% and 1.7% respectively) in May from the previous month. This may be a helpful step for first-time buyers hoping to get on the property ladder.

A reduction in house prices often mean deposits can work that much harder, and first-time buyers seem to be making the most of the current climate. We saw a significant amount of activity from first-time buyers when the housing market reopened in May, with a 212% increase in first-time buyer leads from April to May 2020.

The increase in interest could see a potential levelling of ownership in the housing market, however it’s important to look at the full picture. Although a decline in house prices may be a good sign, first-time buyers are still facing mounting costs when it comes to buying their first home. Lenders are still restricting the volume of high LTV (85%+) applications, and some are putting their rates up for those mortgages.

Add to this the fact that 373,000 property sales were put on hold due to the lockdown, there’s still a delay in the data that’s available and it will take some months to see the true impact on house prices.”

5 June 2020
Property expert reacts to Halifax’s House Price Index

Halifax has just released its House Price Index for May, which shows that house prices have suffered a monthly decline of 0.2%.

Paresh Raja, CEO of Market Financial Solutions, reacts to the news:

“House prices have suffered another monthly decline. While concerning, we must also consider the reality of the situation. Lockdown measures are only just easing, and any sustainable recovery of house prices will only start to occur once buyers and sellers are certain the COVID-19 pandemic is coming to an end.

“There is also significant pent-up demand for real estate. With house prices dropping, we could witness an influx of buyers seeking to take advantage of real estate at what some would consider below-market prices in the coming weeks.

“It makes the next house price index all the more consequential – should the rate of house price growth continue to drop, the question is whether additional policy is required to help stimulate transactions and market activity.”

18 May 2020

Property Market Recovering from COVID-19

Significant volumes return to UK Property Market

Twenty7Tec this morning issues the mortgage market statistics for 17 May 2020.

James Tucker, CEO of mortgage technology provider Twenty7Tec says:
“Yesterday was the busiest Sunday in weeks and the whole weekend has gone well for the mortgage industry. We are starting to see significant volumes return to the market – with searches for purchase mortgages in particular rapidly gaining pace. Searches for purchases are now at 44% of pre-lockdown highs, up from lows of 15.6% in mid April. Purchase search volumes has tripled since that low point.

“It’s hard to overstate the effect that last week’s reopening announcement has had on the market. It’s the first week that we have ever seen where activity on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday all outperformed the Monday and Tuesday.

“Of course, we’ll see how this pans out this week and, come Wednesday, will be able to see the results of the first full week of the Jenrick effect. Is this just prior pet up demand or is it a sustainable growth based also on new business? Time and data will tell us.

“This weekend, for the first time since lockdown, purchase searches overtook remortgages searches. It’s possible that we’ll see the weekly figures reach parity (purchase v remortgages) this week.

“Remortgage volumes will be interesting to watch this week. Last week’s figures were pretty much flat when you allow for the prior week’s bank holiday. Remortgage volumes have held up comparatively well over the lockdown period – never dipping below 55% of pre-lockdown highs. The peak for remortgage volumes actually came two days after the Government announced lockdown.

“The end of the first mortgage holidays is on the horizon – technically, a month from today for those who moved quickly. This will be on the minds of lenders who want to be able to price remortgages accurately. The greater clarity the market has over the future of the mortgage holidays arrangement, the greater we will all serve our customers.”

Key statistics

Searches for purchase mortgages have more than doubled over the past four weeks – up 109.54%.
Remortgage searches have plateaued.

Statistics from the mortgage market for 17 May 2020

Daily total figures

The volume of mortgage searches for 17 May was
• Up 22.36% on the previous week
• Up 61.11% on two weeks ago
• Up 82.53% on four weeks ago

The volume of ESIS documents prepared for 17 May was
• Up 28.83% on the previous week
• Up 28.36% on two weeks ago
• Up 51.50% on four weeks ago

The total value of loans prepared as ESIS documents for 17 May was
• Up 14.02% on the previous week
• Up 31.70% on two weeks ago
• Up 44.59% on four weeks ago

Weekly total figures

The volume of searches in week ending 17 May was
• Up 27.46% on the previous week*
• Up 18.39% on two weeks ago
• Up 42.76% on four weeks ago

The volume of ESIS documents prepared in week ending 17 May was
• Up 25.65% on the previous week*
• Up 8.42% on two weeks ago
• Up 29.63% on four weeks ago

The total value of loans prepared as ESIS documents in week ending 17 May was
• Up 25.05% on the previous week*
• Up 7.74% on two weeks ago
• Up 32.46% on four weeks ago

*the bank holiday of Friday 8th May affects the prior week’s figures

Purchase v remortgages

• Purchase mortgages normally represent 55-60% of the market. In the week to 17 May, they represent 40.07% (versus remortgages at 59.93%), up significantly from recent lows of 24.5%.
• On 17 May, the searches for purchase mortgages were 58.85% of all mortgage searches.
• The volumes of searches for purchase mortgages for 17 May were up 63.62% compared to the same day last week. They were also up 95.71% on the same day two weeks ago and up 186.21% on the same day four weeks ago.
• The volumes of searches for purchase mortgages for the week up to 17 May were up 57.45% compared to last week. They were also up 49.38% on two weeks ago and up 109.54% on four weeks ago.
• Volumes of searches for purchase mortgages are now around 44.60% of pre-Covid-19 levels.
• Weekly searches for remortgages to 17 May are up 13.07% on the prior week and up 3.96% compared to two weeks ago. They are up 17.69% compared to four weeks ago.

BTL v purchase

Buy to Let has a long term average of 19.78% of searches with standard residential searches representing 61.25% of all searches in the past year.
Currently, BTL’s share of all searches is at 22.59%, whereas standard residential is at 61.42%. BTL reached a high of 26.74% of all mortgage searches at the end of April.

13 May 2020
Estate agents and going back to work
James Tucker, CEO at mortgage technology provider, Twenty7Tec, comments on the news regarding viewings and estate agents going back to work:

“The reopening of estate agents and the ability to have viewings and in-person valuations has to be good news for the housing and mortgage industries. Of course, all parties will need to be careful, adapt to the new circumstances, and continue to follow Government guidance and best practice, but hopefully our industry will play its part in helping the economy back onto its feet.

“There are strong indicators that there’s a lot of pent up demand in the market, so it’s quite possibly going to be a busy period for everyone involved. It will take a few days or weeks to see where the level of demand is. We’ll continue to publish our data so that brokers and lenders can see the shape of the market and make the right decisions for their businesses in line with that.”

13 May 2020
Property market is coming out of lockdown

News: From today, surveyors can enter the home to complete valuations, renters and prospective buyers can view property and removals can once again assist people in their moves.

Why it’s of interest: The inability to survey or view a property has been one of the main contributing factors to the property market freeze, both remortgage and new applications.

Comment from Trussle: What this means for consumers? Which lenders were first to sign up? Will it impact remortgage more than new applications?

Miles Robinson, Head of Mortgages at online mortgage broker Trussle, comments:

“New regulations set to come into force today should provide the property market with a much needed boost after the lockdown period. From today, surveyors can enter the home to complete valuations, renters and prospective buyers can view properties and removals can once again assist people in their moves.

Reallowing surveyors to enter homes as long as a distance of two metres is maintained means that physical valuations can get going again. Some lenders such as HSBC have already confirmed that valuations are starting to be booked in.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen desktop valuations acting as a stop gap in an attempt to keep surveys happening. A high proportion of those desktop valuations have only been for those with a loan-to-value of less than 75%. Additionally, some properties require a physical valuation. These include those in flood risk areas, those with previous adverse valuations, and some new build properties.

While surveyors can now enter the home, it’s important to stress that visits are still only advised when absolutely essential. With a high proportion of the UK watching their finances more closely, we may see today’s announcement boost the remortgage market further.”

27 Apr 2020

Bottom of Market Reached for Residential Purchase Mortgages

Weekly Mortgage Stats for week ending 25 April 2020

Twenty7Tec, a leading provider of technology solutions to the mortgage industry, this morning issues the mortgage market statistics for week ending Saturday 25 April. Using the company’s INSIGHT platform, it will be providing free weekly market analysis reports during the Covid-19 crisis.

Stats from the mortgage market from week ending 25 April 2020

Weekly total figures

The volume of searches in week ending Saturday 25 April was
• up 15.14% on the previous week
• up 13.94% on two weeks ago
• down 34.36% on four weeks ago

The volume of documents in week ending Saturday 25 April was
• up 19.07% on the previous week
• up 12.91% on two weeks ago
• down 42.14% on four weeks ago

The total value of loans in week ending Saturday 25 April was
• up 20.07% on the previous week
• up 14.21% on two weeks ago
• down 44.14% on four weeks ago

Daily figures for Saturday 25 April

The volume of searches on Saturday 25 April 2020 was
• down 3.26% on the same day last week
• up 44.29% on the same day two weeks ago

The volume of documents prepared on Saturday 25 April was
• up 7.69% on the same day last week
• up 44.94% on the same day two weeks ago

The total value of loans in week ending Saturday 25 April was
• up 27.38% on the previous week
• up 59.23% on two weeks ago

Purchase v remortgages
• Purchase mortgages normally represent 55-60% of the market. This week, they represent 31.92% (versus remortgages at 68.08%), up from recent lows of 24.5%.
• The searches for purchase volumes were up 26.18% this week on one week before and up 34.7% on two weeks ago.
• Searches for purchase mortgages are still down around half of the pre-Covid-19 levels

BTL v purchase

Buy to Let has a long term average of 19.78% of searches with standard residential searches representing 61.25% of all searches in the past year

Currently, BTL’s share of all searches is at 24.49%, whereas standard residential is at 60.62%.

Commentary

James Tucker, CEO of mortgage technology provider Twenty7Tec says:

“Thankfully, there are some good news stories in this week’s figures. Whilst the volumes are considerably lower than the high times of late February, it is possible that we are now starting to see the ‘end of the beginning’.

“Weekly search volumes for all types of mortgages, the total number of ESIS documents prepared, and the values of mortgages requested, are up compared to the same period a week ago; and, again, to the same period two weeks ago.

“The total volume of mortgage searches also seems unaffected by the announcement that lockdown will need to be in place for a further three weeks at least.

“Buy-to-let mortgage searches continue to represent an ever-larger proportion of the market – they currently constitute 24.37% of all searches, well above their long-term average of 19.78%.
“We saw a slight uptick in weekly remortgage searches also. These are up 1.03% on the prior week. However, the volume of remortgage searches is still down a quarter compared to four weeks ago.

“The pipeline of housing available for purchase will likely have been helped by the news from some major housebuilders that many of their sites will re-open this week.

He added:
“When I speak to brokers, it’s clear how hard they are working for their clients and trying to keep the market flowing as much as possible. We can but hope these green shoots of good news which have, seemingly, begun to sprout over the past two weeks will give brokers something to build on.”

20 Apr 2020

UK Future Fund To Combat Coronavirus Impact

Innovative Firms Funding During COVID-19 Pandemic

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (Conservative Party) announced this morning a new £1.25bn package to protect the UK’s ‘innovative firms’ during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The businesses ranging from tech to life sciences would be protected through the crisis so they can continue to develop new products and help power UK growth. It includes a new £500m loan scheme for high-growth firms, called the Future Fund, and £750m of targeted support for small and medium sized businesses focusing on research and development.

The fund would be delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank and launches in May, and would provide UK-based companies with between £125,000 and £5m from the govt, with private investors at least matching the govt commitment.

James Tucker, CEO of mortgage technology provider Twenty7Tec, states:

“This has to be a welcome move for both tech and research-led businesses. Many of them are loss-making in their first years and so need firm backing from business angels, early investors and venture capitalists. The challenge for tech businesses is that there has been less appetite for risk over recent weeks, for obvious reasons. But this move by the Chancellor using convertible loans looks set to plug a gap in the market and give a real boost to the companies that will emerge as the tech stars of the future.

“If you’ve got a track record of raising capital and want to shore up confidence in the business, the Future Fund looks like a good way of doing so. For many start-ups, this will be a massive lifeline. We’re waiting to see the full details on how the fund will work, but at first blush, the terms seem reasonable – 36 month maximum term, convertible loan that must be equally or better matched by private funding.

“If smaller companies are struggling, I’d suggest that they speak to their funders as soon as possible and talk to them about how these matched funds will work from May onwards and explore how to fill any gaps between now and then.”

20 Apr 2020

Coronavirus Impact on UK Mortgage Stats

Mortgage Stats for UK properties w/e 18 April

for week ending 18 April 2020

Mortgage market statistics for week ending Saturday 18 April, from Twenty7Tec.

Stats from the mortgage market from week ending 18 April 2020

Weekly total figures

The volume of searches in week ending Saturday 18 April was
• down 1.04% on the previous week
• down 27.96% on two weeks ago
• down 56.55% on four weeks ago

The volume of documents in week ending Saturday 18 April was
• down 5.17% on the previous week
• down 34.34% on two weeks ago
• down 58.89% on four weeks ago

The total value of loans in week ending Saturday 18 April was
• down 4.88% on the previous week
• down 35.89% on two weeks ago
• down 60.87% on four weeks ago

Daily figures for Saturday 18 April

The volume of searches on Saturday 18 April 2020 was
• up 49.15% on the same day last week
• up 9.94% on the same day two weeks ago

The volume of documents prepared on Saturday 18 April was
• up 34.59% on the same day last week
• down 2.2% on the same day two weeks ago

The total value of loans in week ending Saturday 18 April was
• up 25.00% on the previous week
• down 35.89% on two weeks ago
• down 60.87% on four weeks ago

Purchase v remortgages

• Purchase mortgages normally represent 55-60% of the market. This week, they represent 30.08% (versus remortgages at 69.92%), up from recent lows of 24.5%.
• The searches for purchase volumes were up on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week.
• The weekly total for purchase mortgage searches was up 6.75% on the previous week.

BTL v purchase
Buy to Let has a long term average of 19.78% of searches with standard residential searches representing 61.25% of all searches in the past year
However, over the past four weeks, those two loan types have both risen: BTL is at 23.05% and standard residential is at 62.23%.

Commentary
James Tucker, CEO of mortgage technology provider Twenty7Tec says:

“With total searches this week down only 1.04% on the prior week, it’s possible that we are nearing or have even already hit the bottom of the market for residential purchase mortgages.

“On Thursday, we saw the first rises in searches for purchases over a month. Then on both Friday and Saturday, we also saw rises in searches. The volume of searches for Thursday, Friday and Saturday combined is up 60% on the same three days from the previous week and almost matches the activity levels from the same days two weeks ago.
“Whilst we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, it’s good to have some figures in the green after a sea of red over recent weeks.

“Elsewhere in the market, buy to let mortgage searches represent an ever-bigger proportion of the market – currently 23.05% of all searches, which is well above their long-term average of 19.78%.

“Remortgage volumes, however, have dipped 3.7% this week compared to the prior week. That’s possibly due to the Easter weekend weather being so good, but it could be a side effect of the mortgage payments holiday scheme. The scheme is believed to be being used by one in ten homeowners, which will clearly contract the market for remortgages.

“Additionally, the average property values for those searches taking place has risen 10% since the beginning of March to £369,967. Around 20% of searches are for properties valued at £500,000 and more.

“The extension of the lockdown until at least 7 May will mean greater pent up demand. If we think about our busiest periods of the year, they normally follow the times when we spend most time at home. Easter, Christmas and the school summer holidays all give rise to significant market activity. Our sense is that after being in lockdown for six or so weeks, that that effect will only be amplified.”

“In the meantime, I know that brokers need to do what they do best: speak to their clients, find them the best solutions and help them to achieve their goals.”

17 Apr 2020
Weekly Mortgage Stats for UK properties

Uplift in the volume of mortgage searches.

James Tucker, CEO of mortgage technology provider Twenty7Tec says:

“Yesterday, we saw the first uplift in the volume of mortgage searches for several weeks. The volume of searches versus the same day the week prior were up 4.96%.

“And the number of ESIS documents prepared were up the same day last week by 3.52% and even up on the prior day (which rarely happens) by 1.29%.

“Finally, the total value of mortgages being looked into also rose 1.66% versus the same day last week.

“The big spike was on purchase searches where there was an uplift of 13.13% versus last week.

“Whilst one swallow does not a summer make, I think that the market needs to hear good news in a timely fashion. It’s definitely something for brokers, lenders and other providers to build on.

“Purchase mortgages currently represent 31% of daily searches up from a long-term low of 25% last week. This additional level of interest in purchase mortgages is a step back towards the long-term average of 55% purchase to 45% remortgage.”

14 Apr 2020
Weekly Mortgage Stats for week ending April 11th

Twenty7Tec issues the mortgage market statistics for week ending Saturday 11 April.

Stats from the mortgage market from week ending 11 April 2020:

Searches for mortgages were down a further 27.21% on the prior week
Searches for mortgages were down 60.23% on the same period four weeks ago

ESIS Documents prepared were down 30.76% on the prior week
ESIS Documents prepared were down 59.19% on the same period four weeks ago

The value of loans requested was down 32.6% on the prior week
The value of loans requested was down 61.4% on the same period four weeks ago

Purchase v remortgages:

Purchase mortgage searches were down 36.7% on the prior week
Purchase mortgage searches were down 82.56% on the same period four weeks ago

Remortgage searches were down 25.96% on the prior week
Remortgage searches were down 32.15% on the same period four weeks ago

Four weeks ago, purchases to remortgages split 58:42
This week, purchases to remortgages split 26:74

Commentary:

James Tucker, CEO of mortgage technology provider Twenty7Tec says:

“We appear to now be facing the worst of the epidemic in the UK and are likely to see continued downward pressure for several weeks in our and many other markets and industries. The mortgage industry needs to adapt accordingly.

“In normal times, further up the line, we’d expect Easter viewings to turn into mortgage searches and then applications with a slight time lag. But in lockdown, with almost no new viewings, new build sites increasingly closed to construction, there’s a contraction further up the line that will have an effect on what mortgages are being applied for in due course.

“Although purchase search volumes are now around one-fifth of their volume four weeks ago, it’s possible that remortgages are the bigger news story this week as remortgage volumes had previously dropped only by around one-sixth from their peak in mid-February. This week’s 26% decline in remortgage volumes may point to a broader market perception that we have not yet reached the bottom of that market yet. That said, we do expect greater demand for remortgages over coming weeks as we see lockdowns begin to be lifted and confidence begin to creep back into the markets.

“Brokers are still working as closely as possible with those clients who are looking to invest in or refinance their properties. Mortgages are still being written and we have seen some specialist lenders rejoin the market over recent days.

“Our sense is that the next milestones will be around when lockdown is going to be lifted, and what will happen at the end of furlough at the end of May. Lenders are likely to have priced in these elements already, but greater clarity on the latter and on household’s financial stability in general will definitely help the mortgage market to return quickly.”

30 March 2020
Impact of COVID-19 on the UK Property Market

Twenty7Tec Issues Weekly Mortgage Stats for UK properties

Mortgage market statistics for week ending Saturday 28 March:

Stats from the mortgage market from Friday 27 March 2020

The volume of searches on Friday 27 March was
• down 19.86% on the previous day
• down 31.93% on the same day last week
• Down 33.71% on the same day two weeks ago

The volume of documents prepared on Friday 27 March was
• down 17.19% on the previous day
• down 20.09% on the same day last week
• down 19.34% on the same day two weeks ago

The total value of loans documented on Friday 27 March was
• down 16.26% on the previous day
• down 25.24 % on the same day last week
• down 21.75% on the same day two weeks ago.
• The lowest weekday daily value this month

On Friday, the purchase/remortgage split (which is normally 55:45 purchase or higher) was 39.5/60.5 purchase to remortgage.

Stats from the mortgage market from Saturday 28 March 2020

The volume of searches in week ending Saturday 28 March was
• down 23.78% on the previous week
• down 30.95% on two weeks ago

The volume of documents in week ending Saturday 28 March was
• down 15.40% on the previous week
• down 20.35% on two weeks ago

The total value of loans in week ending Saturday 28 March was
• down 15.90% on the previous week
• down 21.09% on two weeks ago

The bottom four performing individual weekdays this month were Tues-Fri last week.

Commentary

James Tucker, CEO of mortgage technology provider Twenty7Tec says:

“It’s hard to believe that only two weeks ago was the best performing week of the year to date for mortgage searches and now we have had the worst-performing week year to date.

“The market figures are in the red despite the best efforts of brokers, lenders and the Treasury. There’s still activity in the market and we expect remortgage volumes to hold up well or even rise as more and more people seek to release equity.

“The purchase market is going to be reliant on existing valuations, vacant properties, and new builds with desk valuations. We’ve begun to see some innovation in this area, but there’s a sense in the market that purchase hasn’t bottomed out yet.

“I’m struck by the conversations I have had about how hard brokers are working for their clients over the past few days. That spirit and a willingness to do things differently over coming weeks is going to be key to our industry’s success.

“One thing I am proud of in terms of our own performance is the speed with which our team has processed product changes. Brokers can be confident that they are querying the very latest data, every minute of every day. That accuracy and confidence is always essential for brokers to deliver exceptional client service to their clients.”

More COVID-19 content on e-architect:

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27 Mar 2020
Impact of COVID-19 on the London Property Market

Article by Jazmin Atkins, Director at Atkins Property Search:

After years of Brexit uncertainty, the market exploded with activity after the election, only to be struck by Coronavirus. According to the NAEA, the number of property viewings tumbled by more than 50% in the last two weeks. Sellers are closing their doors, reluctant to let potential buyers in. One London agent states that 17% and rising, of sales, have fallen through. It seems too soon to tell what the effect on values will be.

The government is introducing new measures on a daily basis trying to control the upward surge of cases. The stock market is taking a battering whilst businesses old and new need this like a hole in the head.

Schools are closing, people are working remotely and it’s a matter of time before we follow other countries and lockdown.

Professor Yolanda Barnes of UCL’s Bartlett Real Estate Institute predicts “The demand for homes will probably fall and house-builders will probably cut their output in response”.

The Sentiment is weak despite efforts to mitigate by the Bank of England’s rate cut, the Chancellors £30 billion-plus injection into the economy and legislation to get landlords and mortgage companies to allow three-month arrears in payment.

Is there a silver lining to this? Lucian Cook of Savills Research states that “All this points to a hiatus in the housing market, without necessarily affecting longer-term prospects” and points out that Savills stand by their five-year forecast.

Mortgage debt will remain cheap for longer, whilst prime London properties might present better value, especially for dollar buyers. When Coronavirus begins to disappear, potential investors might recognise good value and after suffering heavy losses on the stock market, will feel confident investing in a more solid asset class. This pattern of investor behaviour was evident after SARS and Swine Flu, when investors weighed back into property as a safe place to park their wealth and realise sure and slow growth.

How would the Coronavirus impact on the market in the longer term? Yolanda Barnes thinks that certainly there will be “an acceleration of trends which are already in train” one of which is working from home. As more self-isolate, people might appreciate that home working improves productivity, levels out the work/life balance and reduces the need to live near their place of work. Would people think more carefully about living in highly dense and contagious cities and opt for greener spaces?

We are living in extraordinary times and as Churchill said during WWII we must Keep Buggering On.

Keep safe and sane, especially to those isolating and to parents who have turned into teachers overnight and homeschooling for the weeks to come.

Jazmin Atkins, Atkins Property Search

25 Mar 2020
Smart Cities response to COVID-19

SCSP 008: Smart Cities response to COVID-19 with Smart Cities Council’s Philip Bane

In these tumultuous times where residents can feel unsafe, confused, and uncertain, the capabilities of the smart cities sector can come as a relief to cities around the planet – but how do we get there? And what are the challenges in the way?

The US-based Smart Cities Council has launched a free COVID-19 mitigation tool for city planners to access, take inspiration from, or produce for their own city action plan to bring all of a city’s resources under one platform:

Smart Cities response to COVID-19 – pod-cast

25 Mar 2020
COVID-19 & work from home policy

Given the situation relating to Coronavirus, many businesses are now adopting a work from home policy.

And for a lot of people, this is their first experience of remote working or they are finding the provision they had is either not secure or adequate.

e-architect bring you news of a webinar this Thursday 26th March at 1pm on ‘The What, Why and How of Remote Working’, run by Grant McGregor.

COVID-19 & work from home policy

You can join them for half an hour and a quick overview of what your business needs to consider and to find out about some of the tools available to keep your teams productive.

Registration below:

The What, Why and How of Remote Working

25 Mar 2020
BDA Response to Government Coronavirus Advice

As a result of the Prime Minister’s instruction that only ‘essential’ services be kept open for business, individual brick manufacturers across the UK are responding quickly to ensure manufacturing facilities are temporarily closed in a safe and orderly manner.

Appropriate safeguarding measures, including the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and appropriate social and work related distancing protocols, are already in place across UK brick manufacturing facilities.

However, since the manufacture of clay brick cannot be considered an ‘essential’ service, individual manufacturers, the BDA is advised, are beginning to cease production across their respective factories whilst adhering to government guidelines.

As a result, we expect clay brick deliveries to slow down and cease in the same safe and orderly manner.

BDA Chief Executive, Keith Aldis, comments “With approximately 400m bricks currently in stock in the UK, the industry has capacity to begin supplying the market again as soon as quarantine restrictions are eased.”

Further updates will be available on the BDA’s website www.brick.org.uk.

24 Mar 2020
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19 Mar 2020
Renegotiating a leasehold during the Covid-19 crisis

Virtually all businesses rent their HQ and operational premises under commercial leases. As the impact of Covid-19 becomes clearer, the question about reducing tenant leasehold liabilities is increasingly common.

Compliance with legislation, insurance policies and break clauses are just some of the points that businesses should be reviewing immediately.

Companies need to consider how to negotiate sensible solutions to the challenges posed by Covid-19.

17 Mar 2020

Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Industry

RIBA responds to UK Government Financial Support

Tuesday 17th of March 2020 – The RIBA has responded to the Government’s latest financial measures to shore up the economy against the coronavirus impact.

16 March 2020
Coronavirus and its Impact on Real Estate Industry

Global Leaders’ Opinions on the Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Industry

GRI Club hosted a series of online eMeetings for members to come together at such a critical time of fear and uncertainty to make sense of the impact Coronavirus could have on real estate and capital markets. Leaders discussed their opinions on how Coronavirus would impact real estate in the short and medium term. The main topics that emerged during this discussion include contingency planning, tenant analysis, lenders withholding finance and government interventions.

The Whitepaper with insight from the first eMeetings on this topic are available now here.

The gravity of this situation has generated demand for more discussion. To foster communication, GRI scheduled an additional 4 meetings with a focus on how each market will be impacted. From these sentiments, a special series of meetings will then follow drilling down into the isolated problems and opportunities per asset class, government and banking measures as well as tenant analysis.

13 March 2020

Coronavirus Impact on Global Property Market

The impact of coronavirus on the property market

Global equity markets have been hit hard by the coronavirus, which has been the catalyst for the biggest market sell off since the 2008 crash. The S&P 500 has dropped some 20% since its record highs in mid-February and the FTSE 100 is approaching its lowest level since 2012.

Property is, of course, being affected too, but the impact will vary. Companies with leisure and tourism assets, where people are expected to mix and mingle, are likely to be among the worst to suffer, while the Chancellor’s business rates one-year holiday for small, independent retailers will not be enough to spare them some commercial pain too.

Co-living, where the whole concept is shared living spaces, is also a sector that may suffer in the short term. The commercial office sector too may see valuations re-assessed as people re-think how they work, particularly if operating remotely becomes more ingrained in business life as a result of this pandemic.

Real estate sectors that may suffer least are light industrial and logistics, as goods still have to be transported and stored in bulk, and online supermarket businesses could actually benefit as consumers steer clear of their hard real estate high street counterparts. The BTR sector may also weather the coronavirus storm reasonably well, given the stock is robust, purpose-built and delivering robust yields.

The Government’s £1bn Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which will guarantee loans to small businesses hit by the coronavirus is a start, but to have a significant impact the scheme would need many more billions to make a real difference to these businesses’ commercial future.

Looking at the wider economic backdrop, the impact of the coronavirus may actually help to prompt a more consensual approach to the current Brexit trade negotiations. Italy has been badly affected, with its high-debt economy in trouble, while France too also has a high level of public debt and its economy is suffering. Germany looks faced with supporting both and this may see all three countries look for a more collaborative approach to the trade negotiations, which would be for the long-term benefit of both the equity and property markets.

coronavirus stats

About Daniel Austin

Daniel is one of the co-founders of ASK and has been originating and structuring real estate debt and equity transactions for the last 20 years, funding well in excess of £2bn.

Daniel was previously responsible for the Transaction Origination division of the structure property finance team at Investec where he worked for over 12 years. Daniel then set up Capital A Finance plc, a boutique real estate lending business which wrote over £250m of loans between 2012 and 2014. Daniel intricately understands real estate which means he can structure complex deals with unique funding packages which traditional lenders struggle to fund.

Comments on this Coronavirus Impact on Property Market article are welcome.

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SBID Product Design Awards 2020 Ceremony Postponed

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. As international travel is no longer a responsible or advisable option, the SBID Product Design Awards 2020 have been rescheduled to October.

The entry deadline has also been extended to Friday 29 May 2020 to accommodate those who have requested more time to complete their submissions under the circumstances.

Coronavirus Situation in March 2020

Latest Coronavirus Situation Update

The UK Government’s Chief Medical Advisor advised yesterday that even people with ‘minor signs’ of respiratory tract infections will be told to self-isolate. This change could happen in the next 10 to 14 days. This will have a significant impact on those reliable staff who would normally come into work, armed with paracetamol and ‘cracking on’ with their duties.

For all the latest breaking news on COVID-19 visit the UK government website page: Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response.

Boris Johnson has announced Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) should apply from day 1 (as opposed to day 4), for those who are self-isolating. The budget announcement yesterday promised significant support through the Coronavirus. This included a short term legislative change to SSP. SME’s will be able to reclaim SSP for 14 days in relation to coronavirus, once the COVID-19 Bill is in effect. Our recommendations to you is to look at your forecasting and to plan. Look at your budgets and see how this could potentially work in practice.

As part of this, look at your home working options. Of course, this will be difficult for more manual workers. Consider short term lay off or short term working, dependent on your contracts and policies.

The interim guidance for business and employers is in relation to health and safety:

  • Perform routine environmental cleaning, for example frequently touched work surfaces such as computers, desks and door handles
  • Emphasise the importance of hand hygiene and the etiquette for coughs and sneezes
  • Access visitors coming onto your site/business premises, have they visited any of the countries that are causing concern for COVID-19 or been in contact with anyone suffering from the illness?
  • Refer to your Business Continuity Plan – In particular what you do in the event of an outbreak in the workplace and how do you continue working

Morpholio Responds to Covid-19 to help Architects

New York – Morpholio Apps announces Today

Morpholio Responds to Covid-19 to help Architects

March 13th, 2020 – Given the world’s current health crisis we understand more architects will and should be working from home. In an effort to help provide the economic relief, encourage new ways of working and meet the needs of architects as well as designers working remotely during this time, Morpholio will immediately start extending the typical Free 3 Day Trial to 1 month for Trace Pro and Board Pro. This will allow any architect or designer with an iPad or iPhone to work remotely, for free, during this month. The change will go into effect today and will be available for this week and then extended as needed.

Morpholio believes everyone should do what they can to stop the incidental spread of COVID-19 and encourage all of us to find new and creative ways of working.

https://www.morpholioapps.com/board/

Comments / photos for the Property Market Coronavirus Impact Advice – COVID-19 Effect on Real Estate 2020 page welcome