22 May 2020: China, the UK and the reopening

Updated: May 27, 2020

Hello lintileers 

It’s that time of the week again. It’s time for The Home Buyer Friday Feeling Review. This week we point out some subtle messages coming from China as well as looking at the roadmap to reopening the property market. 

Chinese GDP growth in 2020

For the first time since 1990 the Chinese government has not published a target for GDP growth. Unsurprisingly, the Chinese government has stated that the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic is the reason for not setting a GDP growth target this year.

It doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to conclude that the failure to set a target for GDP growth for the rest of 2020 is essentially a strong admission that GDP will fall and that this fall may well be quite significant.

As changes in GDP growth and house prices are highly correlated then this sends a strong signal that a fall in house prices is imminent.

UK market reopening

Estate Agents in the UK are back open for business following the lockdown. During the lockdown new listings were down over 80% on this time last year but in the past week there has been a steep rise in new properties added to the market. It is also encouraging that traffic on UK property portals is holding relatively firm and is only approximately 10% lower than this time last year. 

The elephant in the room though is price. Asking prices are one thing but sale prices are quite another and until we start getting data from sales that were started and closed after the lockdown then it will be difficult to get an accurate health-check on the property market.

Irish market reopening 

With the reopening plan here still in Phase 1 physical viewings are still not possible, however, the Department of Health has issued guidelines that should enable estate agents to reopen from 8 June. 

There will be strict rules on social distancing with only 2 people allowed per viewing and under-16s will not be allowed to attend. Other practical measures will include sellers being asked to leave cupboard and press doors open so that common touch points within the property are minimised. 

Hand sanitiser will be available at all physical viewings and show houses in new developments will be required to undergo a weekly deep clean.       

Until next week, Stay Safe, #HoldFirm and keep washing those hands!



Friday 22 May 2020

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