It feels like a stretch to describe the Prime Minister, and the government’s, plans for easing lockdown as clear and concise, but there were some areas for which we able to obtain some clarification of what to expect over the coming months.
One issue the government have created for themselves, which they themselves admit, is that the messaging has worked almost too well in terrifying people into complying with the lockdown rules and regulations, and that the public adhered to rules much than they expected.
But now the government needs to very carefully adjust its language and messaging to encourage people back to work and one of the first to return will be those in construction, house building and more general building work that takes place outdoors.
This will be welcome news for the property industry, where it was last week reported that £12 billion is awaiting completion, and there is a high amount of latent activity building from investors both domestically and abroad for UK property.
Prices have remained largely stable, and agents have reported increasing numbers of enquiries filtering through in order to book advanced viewings and appointments for properties in anticipation of the lockdown being lifted.
House building booming
Just before lockdown was introduced it was reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that completed house building exceeded 200,000 for the first time since the financial crash in 2008.
This meant that building activity has boomed in the past 24 months with demand continuing to rise amidst a lack of stock. It’s pleasing to find that activity spiked so highly recently, and this will add to the sense of urgency of getting people back to work.
Investment funds have also been flowing in from abroad with China, Hong Kong and Singapore especially active in looking to expand their UK property portfolios since their lockdowns have been lifted.
The Totally Money Buy-To-Let Yield Map has also shown little change in investment hot spots, with the North West of England still counting the most representatives, with Liverpool as number one.
European stocks and shares were having a gradual recovery through the past few weeks as investor confidence began to return, on the news that most European countries would now start seeking to return to some sort of normality over the coming weeks and months.
In the UK the Prime Minister has said that once the reproduction rate of the Coronavirus is low enough, they can then look to allowing schools to gradually return from early June, and even pubs, cafes and bars from July, if the measures are successful.
The government were also keen to point out that these plans are fluid, and that social distancing must be observed at all times in order to make this possible, but it remains very good news that the UK, much like the rest of Europe, now has a plan to allow us to begin to return to some kind of normality.