The recent announcement from Dominic Raab on 16th April 2020 that the UK lock down would be extended for at least a further three weeks keeps the housing market on hold and transactions unable to progress.
This got us thinking about the people who are residing in properties that are stuck in the journey and can’t progress. What will happen to them? And when these people resume shopping, how and when do I talk to them so that I can gain sales post lock down?
Just Moved In
There are 210,000 property transactions that completed in Q1 of 2020. These are people that have just moved to a new house, but can’t buy all of the things they need for it like carpets, curtains and furniture for example.
These people not only need retail goods, but also financial services such as life insurance and they would also be looking to change their car soon after moving.
Can’t Move – Stuck in the System
In the graphic above we bring up to date the statistics on property which is stuck in the transactional system.
All of these people in the bottom three categories are truly in limbo right now. They do not know where their home move stands and when they will move into a new property.
- Recent exchanges (some of which will be without associated completions) involving 107k properties
- Those that have engaged with a conveyancer and passed the searches ordered stage of 161k properties and finally
- Those that have agreed a sale and not yet completed searches of 118k properties.
These people are frustrated that their move is suspended and will most likely look to move at some point in the near future.
When they do they will need removers, mortgages, insurances, broadband and retail goods.
Our statistics currently show that the probability of these sales falling through are less likely than they were in 2019. For example, if we look at properties that had Sales Agreed in January 2020, the chances that they would have fallen through by 16th April are 8% less likely than had Sales Agreed in January 2019 having fallen through by 16th April of 2019.
For those that had Sales Agreed in February 2020, they are 16% less likely to fall through from the prior year.
And those that had Sales Agreed in March 2020 (the month when lock down started), they are 35% less likely to fall through from the prior year.
What all this means is for the time being the property that is stuck in the system is staying there and buyers are NOT pulling out of their agreed sales but this may change when lock down ends and people re-evaluate their financial circumstances.
If they do decide not to move, they will need to fall back in love with their existing home and stay and improve it.
Want to Move
A further 454k properties are people who want to move and have listed their house for sale but can’t sell it as they are not allowed to undertake any physical viewings.
Post lock down however, most of these people will want to move quickly and as such be in the market for similar services to the people who are stuck in the system. Some of them will need to sell their existing property post the job retention scheme ending.
In summary, you should already be considering marketing activities to boost spending on your products and services post lock down. It is worth talking to these three audiences in a different way and depending on your products and services prioritising some, more than others.