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Renovation lessons we’ve learned from the pandemic

16 December 2020 639 Views

The UK property market is in a state of flux. Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has had a marked effect on landlords, it doesn’t seem to have stemmed interest from buyers of new properties and prices have been climbing steadily even despite lockdown measures and reduced sales volumes.

For property investors, the pandemic’s effect on the market has been bittersweet. Whilst house prices have been pushed higher (with Rightmove suggesting that they will rise by a further 4% in 2021), it’s also been much harder to engage with tradesmen and other necessary stakeholders to deal with renovation work.

Here we look at some of the key trends in property renovation this year – in the hope that investors can find new and better ways of working in 2021.

Tight timelines and even tighter budgets

The coronavirus pandemic has affected many things in the property industry – but it all ultimately boils down to the basics: time and money. Both have been stretched by the pressures of the public health crisis, and the financial concerns introduced by the UK’s waning economy need no introduction or explanation.

In addition to money troubles, the timescales of renovations have grown exponentially this year – as tradesmen have been unable to work in tandem with one another on account of social distancing provisions.

Whilst there’s little we can do to influence the direction of travel when it comes to government regulations, making a conscious effort to speed up the decision-making process might at least cut some time out of property renovation in 2021.

Home office fever

Another key trend brought on by the pandemic has been the shift in working habits. A considerable proportion of the UK’s workforce now work in some capacity from home, and may well continue to do so as employers see the cost-benefit of moving away from the office.

With employees and students sitting down to work at home, property investors may wish to pay more attention than they might previously have done to the home office space. From neutral backgrounds for Zoom calls through to quiet and well-lit spaces for writing, designing the ideal home office could help you to shift your property and add value to the sale price.

Working around obstacles (and people)

Just as work has moved online, so too have suppliers and vendors. Rather than welcoming industry investors to auction houses, yards, and warehouses, vendors are now doing more business online than ever before. The same applies when it comes to acquisitions, since estate agents and wholesale property agencies are unable to conduct physical viewings in the same way they might have done before the pandemic. It follows, therefore, that you may need to make more decisions about buying a property before you can actually see it in the flesh.

When it comes to renovation projects on properties that you let out, it may no longer be an option to clear house before getting started. Even for major renovation and home improvement jobs, 2020 has seen many investors work around tenants with one room being completed at a time. This can at least partially be attributed to the Government’s expectations that people should stay put in their homes, and there has been a contraction of available properties on the lettings market as a result.

Moving forward, it seems likely that detailed planning will become even more important to the home renovation industry – and property investors should take heed of these trends since they are likely to directly affect their bottom lines.

Funding the future

However 2020 has treated you, 2021 is a new year and it could be the ideal time to get involved in a new project. Regardless of your circumstances, you might find it easier to acquire and improve a property if you have ready access to flexible finance – which is exactly what a quick personal loan could provide you with.

By using an online loan broker such as Little Loans, property investors could apply to borrow between £100 and £10,000. This flexibility makes borrowing in this way the ideal solution for investors who want to take an agile approach to their properties – whether they want to acquire a new asset or simply to renovate an existing one.

All things considered,  the property market is evolving – but that doesn’t mean that investors can’t stay on top of their game with flexible finance and an eye for emerging trends.

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