"Homebuyers and sellers remain largely undeterred about transacting despite yet another dose of lockdown restrictions and this is no doubt due to the dangling carrot of a stamp duty holiday"
The lettings and estate agent surveyed over 10,000 homebuyers and sellers about their feelings towards another lockdown, its impact on their decision to buy or sell and how they felt about the viewing process while Covid remains a high-level threat.
The results found that athird national lockdown has deterred just 14% of buyers and sellers from a purchase or sale in 2021, with 81% intending to carry on as planned.
In London, 18% stated they would now put their plans on hold, the highest of any region, while buyers and sellers in the North East were the least deterred with just 11% choosing not to transact this year.
Just 4% of those already in the process of selling or buying are putting their transaction on ice until the current lockdown has ended, while 91% of those will carry on, likely spurred by the current stamp duty holiday.
Again, London is home to the highest percentage of those deciding to pull out or delay a sale or purchase (6%), while 96% of buyers and sellers in the North East are undeterred.
While many remain keen to transact, the physical viewings process does pose a concern for the majority. 50% of those asked, stated they didn’t feel safe hosting or attending a viewing while 41% did and 9% preferred not to say.
Attending or hosting a viewing was the biggest concern in Northern Ireland, Scotland and the West Midlands, while those in the North East and East of England felt the safest about it.
Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented: “Homebuyers and sellers remain largely undeterred about transacting despite yet another dose of lockdown restrictions and this is no doubt due to the dangling carrot of a stamp duty holiday that remains in place until March, at the very least.
"Understandably, physical viewings pose a greater concern although the industry remains well-positioned to carry out all stages of the transaction process in a safe and appropriate manner.
For those that are worried, there are things you can do to put your mind at rest. All agents should be sending you their Covid protocols anyway but be sure to request
"Any agent worth their salt will have their house in order where Covid compliancy is concerned. We’ve spent a great deal of time, money and effort to ensure we operate above and beyond the government guidelines as the safety of our clients is paramount. But for those that are still unsure, we also offer the option of video viewings, as we have done for our international clients for the last five years. So while some agents may find it a shock to adapt, we’ve managed to take it in our stride and it’s business as usual as we keep the wheels moving for your sellers and landlords."