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UK Property News: Latest News Round-up

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March has been an incredibly difficult month for many families and households.

The Bank of England’s cut to the base rate, news of mortgage payment holidays and rental protection, a shutdown of all schools across the country and now strict measures to ensure we’re all social distancing – we are in very uncertain and challenging times.

We’re not even through March yet, but given the pace at which things are changing, we wanted to provide an update. Please do note however, that the advice is very likely to be quickly updated.

To ensure you know our latest views on things as they unfold, be sure to register for our email updates where we’ll be sharing thoughts from Phil and the Move iQ Team with you, our community, to try and help you make sense of it all.

If any of you need any assistance with what to do if you’re mid-transaction, how to cope with having to put your plans on hold and what you can do while in limbo, then let’s talk! We’d love to hear from you and if we can help we will – so do email us at [email protected]

The Coronavirus impact on buying and selling

What do you do if you’re selling your home or about to buy?

There is no doubt COVID-19 has made the process of home buying and selling slightly more stressful than it was already perceived to be.

Those at the beginning of their search are now likely to take a step back, but those further down the track will be doing everything they can to speed up the process and make sure the sale goes through” – Phil Spencer

It stands to reason that the self-isolation policies now make it impossible to put your home on the market particularly as the most recent advice to agents is that no viewings should be taking place. The reality of COVID-19 is that you will, unfortunately, be forced to put your plans on hold.

“Viewings are being cancelled across the board as thousands of buyers opt to stay home or sellers ask agents to cease viewings. With fewer domestic buyers and a scarcity of overseas buyers, transaction levels are likely to fall sharply in the short term.” – Phil Spencer

Read this article with comments from Phil in House Beautiful

To add to this, the British Association of Removers (BAR) has advised all its members that following the government update of the 23rd March they should only complete moves that are underway and immediately cancel or postpone any move that has not yet started.

Interest rate changes

If you’re thinking of remortgaging then there are some favourable mortgage rates out there, with the Bank of England cutting the base interest rate down to 0.25%.

If you’re needing to remortgage to improve your current rate, or to pay for a home improvement project, now is a good time to take advantage of these deals. Not all rates are published yet, however, so speak to our approved mortgage advisers to find the most suitable re-mortgage rate for you given the current climate.

Mortgage holidays and rent relief

Mortgage holders affected by the COVID-19 are widely being offered mortgage holidays. Advice from the Financial Service Authority is very clear on how they expect consumers to be treated fairly at this difficult time.

Most lenders now have an online application form where you can request a payment holiday as a direct result of the Coronavirus. Conditions apply to ease the burden for you during these testing times.

What about rent relief?

The government has announced that no tenant, whether renting social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time. Where rental arrears occur landlord and tenant are advised to openly communicate and work out a reasonable repayment plan. You can read the full update on protection for renters and landlords here

Responses to Coronavirus

Energy suppliers

Energy bill help for vulnerable amid outbreak.

Gas and electricity suppliers have agreed an emergency package of measures to ensure vulnerable people do not get cut off amid a virus outbreak. 

Now is a good time to ensure you are on the very best tariff as you could save yourself £100’s – it’s quick and easy to compare and switch.

Broadband and Streaming Services

Some broadband suppliers are scrapping data limits on home broadband packages to help people work from home and access entertainment during the outbreak.

Here are some streaming service offers on offer that you might be interested in.

Stay safe and stay updated

Phil will be issuing regular updates to our email community, trying to help make sense of it all at this difficult time. Make sure you join us to get access to these emails – you can subscribe here.

Last Updated: January 3rd, 2024