It’s hard to write these types of articles at all these days considering things can move so quickly. As this is being typed the government is in a cabinet meeting to decide whether harsher restrictions will be introduced to reduce the spread of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19.
That in itself is feeling increasingly like an evergreen intro – “in a cabinet meeting to decide whether harsher restrictions will be introduced”. That being said it has to be taken into consideration that measures for public health aren’t an easy decision to make and that health has to be predicted.
The question on all of our minds now, then, appears to be what’s going to happen between now and spring? Are we likely to enter a new lockdown or will this blow over quicker than expected?
Secondary to that, what do we expect to happen to the economy and, more specifically, the property market in the UK as a result of that?
These things are never an exact science so it’s always tough to make predictions but it’s worth exploring the possibilities.
Another lockdown incoming?
There are, of course, a few different definitions behind a lockdown, however, Ipsos Mori recently released polling data that suggests almost two-thirds of people think another national lockdown is likely in the New Year.
The question of further restrictions in some form feels the inevitable conclusion of quickly rising cases and a potential big rise in hospitalisations as a result. Senior scientists are keen to point out that even if there’s high levels of immunity or a less severe infection, a small percentage of a very large number is still a large number.
The Prime Minister announced Monday that new restrictions would be kept under consideration whilst the data is constantly reviewed but with no new measures just yet. With regards to the question of whether we’re likely to see another lockdown between now and spring, that very much depends on the rate of hospitalisation from this new variant, but so far the data isn’t looking enormously promising.
What about the economy then?
Crucially, new restrictions won’t actually have an enormous impact on how the economy is affected, as people who are worried and don’t want to go out won’t spend money regardless.
The obvious casualty so far with regards to this new situation is the hospitality industry that have seen a devastating effect on bookings at their busiest time of the year, and may well yet need some form of financial support from the treasury, although that’s not looking likely right now.
What of property then? Realistically it’s highly unlikely that a full enforced lockdown is coming any time soon due to political pressure on the prime minister and the economic damage we know it would cause.
Without that sort of lockdown it’s again really unlikely that estate agents or property agents would be required to close meaning that the UK property market can continue as normal much like the time between May 2020 and now.
We know that without restrictions the property market in the UK has seen consistent 10% price growth year-on-year for 2 years in a row now, making it a very attractive investment in times of uncertainty.
Certainly, stock markets and other markets are behaving shakily to the news of possible new restrictions, with the property market the outlier, showing large demand with a limited stock pushing prices and incomes higher for landlords.
With stock markets and crypto markets currently very volatile it’s certainly an idea worth considering, putting money into a stable and reliable investment. Take a look at most popular investment opportunites or speak to a property consultant today by emailing [email protected] or calling +44 (0)161 772 1370.