When we started house hunting in March 2020 it was a ghost town.
We had agents at our beck and call and were spoilt for choice. The houses that were on the market had been there for a while, no real haste and vendors were happy to get people through their doors.
As the months progressed we took our time, looked around and didn’t make any real commitments.
Once the Chancellor made the stamp duty holiday announcement in July 2020, everything changed dramatically!
We noticed that as soon as a house came on the market, it was gone within 7 days.
I was set up for email alerts and was quite quick to book viewings, but before we could get through the door, the house had been sold subject to contracts!
A trend that was quite apparent was that home movers were making the most out of this stamp duty treat.
The stamp duty holiday meant that people could use this time to size up, relocate and make money! (Equity)
Let’s bear in mind that we were in the thick of a pandemic and forced to stay indoors for the foreseeable. If your 24 hours, 7 days a week is going to be your home, then it may as well be somewhere you feel comfortable and love being.
We saw city lovers opting for properties in the country/the outskirts of the M25 due to the flexibility of working from home and not having to commute in to corporate inner city offices. Not forgetting to mention that you get a lot more for your pound outside London.
What you’d spend on a 2 bedroom London flat, you could buy a 4-5 bedroom house with generous garden space outside London.
Ultimately the housing market was booming, it was the right time and everything was working in every home owners favour.
UNTIL we were all reminded time after time that we are in a pandemic, people are dying and services aren’t running at their usual speed.
Our chain fell apart because the upper upper chain had a Covid fatality and the middle chain participants had quite a bit of strain placed on their relationship due to lockdown Covid side effects.
All in all house hunting in a pandemic is not for the faint hearted.
Resilience, empathy and speed are key.
Chains fall apart, people let you down, but our lives are priceless and as long as we hold on tight to those, we have all that we need!