When the coronavirus struck and Boris Johnson placed the UK on lock-down on 23 March 2020, the UK’s housing market was left in total turmoil and potential sellers and buyers in the lurch.
Current government advice states that house viewings should be avoided. Recent guidelines issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government says, “Home buyers and renters should, as far as possible, delay moving to a new home”. This has further rendered the precarious housing market to an almost complete standstill.
The net effect of this lock-down reduced banks’ capacity to process loans, surveyors unable to undertake property valuations as easily and estate agents not being able to undertake viewings. Although conveyancers’ work is not critically influenced by the lock-down, the decline of capacity from the property ecosystem such as estate agents, surveyors and bankers have a knock-on effect on conveyancers.
Many conveyancers have started working electronically even before this crisis. From deducing title to contract signing, each step can be done remotely. As a forward looking firm, we have, from the company’s inception, setup our communications and case management system to allow all case workers to be contactable as usual from anywhere in the world.
Even with the advancement of technology, conveyancing work is has inevitably dried up during this lock-down due to the collapse in the property ecosystem. Throughout a property sale purchase transaction, conveyancers are the last party involved in completing the deal. Deals which conveyancers being doing right now are limited to between those who are forced to sell and those who are cash buyers.
Has the coronavirus crisis totally broken the UK’s housing market?
Since the last general election in December and the government decision on Brexit, confidence in the housing market increased. The post-Brexit market has been extremely positive as a result of this renewed confidence.
Pent-up demand from both buyers and sellers were evident early in the year where mortgage approvals reached their highest levels, but the sudden occurrence of COVID-19 has shocked the wider market at an unprecedented level. At this time, it is too early to predict when the property market will rebound but it is important to note that real estate is a necessity, therefore even with the slump in its current prices now due to the wider market shock, it’s value should recover quickly in the near future.
We live in a solution-driven society, where technology has the potential to lead the way. It is time for us to shift resources to digital channels. Estate agents are encouraging sellers intending to sell their properties to with technologically driven solutions such as real time viewings or recorded walkthrough video tours of the property. There are early indications of valuers undertaking remote valuations and banks accepting such valuations. This is testament of the resilience, innovation and the adaptability of the industry.
Whilst activity may have slowed significantly, when the market starts up, forward looking firms will be the ones who will be best positioned to assist with client’s legal matters. With our firm’s utilisation cloud-based case management system, our caseworkers will be able to access client’s file wherever they are. Our client care is unaffected with our utilisation of internet-based telephone system enables all phone calls to be transferred as usual even during the lockdown.
With the new Android and Apple supported mobile app, our firm has provided another method of communication to our potential clients.
Our new app:
We have developed a brand new mobile app which is available on both iPhone and Android smart phones as well as tablets, which you can download for free on the App Store and Google Play, just search for ‘Lisas Law’ and it will come up!
On this app clients new and old will be able to launch a New Enquiry with us by filling out a simple and quick form, which will be sent directly to us – it couldn’t be easier!
Once the case is underway clients can keep up with all the developments using the Check Your Case function. They will know exactly what stage their case is at in seconds, with a touch of a button.
Getting important information over to us has been streamlined as well, with the innovative Scan Document function. Clients will be able to scan multiple documents at a time, hit one button to convert them into pdf format, then one more button to send them directly to us. It’s so simple!
We are ready for anything
The coronavirus has majorly affected all parts of our society, but we are confident that with these new technologies in place we can keep on working as normal, with the same care and expertise as usual!
We are here for all your legal needs. During these difficult times, we can be counted on!
Looking for a solicitor does not mean that you have to risk leaving your home.
Want to know more? Contact us!
We are operating as usual, and are on hand to help with any legal enquiries you have.
Call on 020 7928 0276, or email into firstname.lastname@example.org.