Many landlords and letting agents are increasingly concerned about the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their tenants and property portfolio, but with the property market reopening for business, are their potential ‘bargains’ to be had for those currently thinking of expanding their property portfolios.
Mortgages for Business has identified vanilla BTL properties and HMOs as good property investment options at the moment, while other firms advise BTL landlords to adopt a region-specific investment strategy.
“The huge economic shock delivered by the Covid crisis could trigger big price reductions, and this is likely to pique the interest of strategic buyers who sense there are bargains to be had in Scotland,” said Edwina de Klee, partner at the Edinburgh-based buying agents Garrington Property Finders.
The Scottish government yesterday published its plans for the easing of lockdown restrictions, including the move towards reopening the housing market.
It has set out the five key phases of transition, with movement into the first phase set to occur following the 28 May end-of-cycle review of Covid-19 regulations.
The following review cycle will end on 18 June.
de Klee commented: “A week after England’s estate agents reopened for business, the Scottish Government has made clear it won’t fire the starting gun for Scotland’s property industry for another four weeks.
“Clearly this will be a source of frustration for Scotland’s property sector. When they do eventually lift the shutters, Scottish estate agents will face two key questions – how will socially distant viewings work, and what kind of property market will they find?
“The experience of agents south of the border will help answer the first one. Would-be buyers in Scotland are likely to be vetted carefully and offered virtual, online viewings of a property before being invited to view it in person.
“The impact of the pandemic on prices, and people’s willingness to move, is harder to predict.
“For now the lockdown has cryogenically frozen much of Scotland’s property sector, but there are signs that many prospective buyers have been using their confinement to window shop.
“Few things are more likely to make people want to move than being cooped up in the same four walls for weeks on end, and property portals have seen traffic increase by up to a fifth. Not all of this buyer interest can be dismissed as mere lockdown escapism.”