In times such as these, headlines can be scary things. Nobody would blame you for trying to avoid the big news sources and looking to navigate the various challenges we face in as much peace and quiet as you can find.

But if you have plans and want to achieve them before the year is out, it’s important that you know about the state of play.

Buying a house or moving home will have been on many people’s to-do list for 2020. But few people will have come close to achieving their general goals for the year given what’s played out.

However, if you still have that determination to get your housing plans moving, then knowing how the market is shaping up is vital. 

One major game changer that is set to last for the whole of November is a second national lockdown in England. With Coronavirus cases on the up, action has been taken – and it’s an action that could well impede progress of housing plans, projects and applications.

The lockdown earlier in 2020 did affect the market substantially, and a few people in the industry will have been biting their nails about the prospect of lockdown 2.0.

But it might not be quite as bad as it seems, and there are a few reasons why.

What’s different? 

Firstly, the housing market has been government backing to remain open and operational during lockdown 2.0. 

Housing Minister Robert Jenrick confirmed via his Twitter account that the housing market will remain open throughout the period of the second lockdown.

He said that renters and homeowners will be able to move, removal firms and estate agents can operate, construction sites can and should continue, and that tradespeople will be able to enter homes. All of this is good news if you’d scheduled in a house move for November.

It’s also good news if you’re house hunting. Face-to-face viewings and surveys can take place legally and safely.

This was all of course with the caveat of having to follow COVID-19 safety guidance, but let’s face it – what doesn’t come with that these days?

This is very different to the kind of rhetoric being used during the first lockdown. Then, the government told home buyers to put on hold any purchases, which saw the market grind to something of a halt.

Lessons have been learnt from that first lockdown across many areas, and there is a greater sense of preparedness this time around. More of us generally know what’s what when it comes to living life under the ‘new normal’.

But the overall takeaway is that moving home during this second lockdown is certainly a possibility, and you are fine to go ahead with your plans if you have any.

Public Sentiment

Whether people will be persevering with such plans, and how actively they engage with the housing market during this time, remains to be seen.

The entire country seemed to shut up shop during the first lockdown. But this time around it does seem a little more likely that people will be willing to do things they weren’t keen to engage with during the first lockdown.

Some may even see lockdown as the perfect time to move home. A project like that – and let’s face it, there aren’t many projects bigger – could be the perfect remedy for lockdown boredom. Add to that quieter roads and potentially more availability for useful parties to be involved in the move process, moving home in lockdown might not seem so strange.

Of course, plenty of people will be hunkering down during lockdown 2.0, and some house moves may well be delayed. But the kind of life-changing feeling that lockdown 1.0 brought may not be replicated this time around, and more projects and moves could well go through the door.

If only we had a crystal ball…

Trying to guess the next chapter of this year is an exercise in futility. Whether the market sees similar negative impact from the lockdown it endured earlier in the year this time around remains to be seen.

But from the perspective of those involved in the housing market, it’s good to see the government encouraging moves to go ahead and doing what it can to support the market during this tough period.

Any contractor or freelancer who is mid-move will be delighted to see that it is ok to go ahead. And anybody planning a move in the next few weeks should be equally pleased their plans need not be delayed any further beyond that.

Of course, if there’s one thing we have learnt this year, it is that advice and guidance can change over time. But hopefully the second lockdown works and works well, the rates drop, and the housing market can bounce back well in the latter part of 2020 and into 2021.