Property market outlook – May 2020

We’ve had a lot of people ask us what we think will happen to the Oban property market in the months to come, so I thought I would distil my replies into a mini-blog for anyone who is interested in my thoughts on the subject (and it must be remembered, I don’t have a crystal ball and these are just my own personal thoughts!).
Normally I detest “news” reports that speculate on what “might” happen; they are usually negative and serve no purpose other than scaremongering and worrying the general public, but in this case I think the outlook is fairly positive and hopefully this may put a few minds at rest.

Fundamentally, the effect of Covid-19 on the housing market will depend on people’s financial circumstances following lockdown, and that will largely depend on how long lockdown continues for and how quickly things return to what could be classed as ‘normal’.
I don’t think there’ll be any drop in house prices locally, but there might be a bit of a slowdown in terms of volume of sales, with confidence amongst both buyers and mortgage lenders being knocked to some degree, but I feel this will be short-term and things should come back relatively quickly. As I’ve always said, unlike stocks & shares, people’s decisions to buy and sell property are usually dictated by life circumstances (relocation, upsizing, downsizing etc) as opposed to the prevailing market conditions, and so we may well see a spike of activity on account of the ‘log jam clearance’ effect i.e. those who were just about to buy or sell before lockdown finally being able to.
Sadly, there may be some who are forced to sell on account of changed financial circumstances, but I’m hopeful there won’t be many of that type of sale in this area.
There may well be quite a lot of people in the more heavily populated areas of the UK realising the major downside of big-city, close-proximity living and be looking to buy property in the smaller, more rural communities such as ours (similar to what we saw with the mass campervan invasion at the start of lockdown), and so Oban may well see an increase in buyer demand from that sector of the market. Oban is always a highly attractive proposition in that respect – it has so much going for it! (I previously did a blog on my own top ten reasons why its such a great place to live: https://www.fiuran.co.uk/oban/love-oban/)

On that note, Oban is a very popular tourist destination, and of course Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on travel and tourism for 2020 across the globe, and so there may be some selling activity for those who own holiday rental properties in this area. However, again, this should hopefully only be a short-term effect, as when there’s uncertainly, people like to stay closer to home and so we may well see an upsurge in UK people taking UK holidays, and of course Oban‘s popularity and accessibility should see the tourism industry here recover relatively quickly, and likely see a quicker recovery than international tourism.

At time of writing, Covid-19 is still a major issue which continues to affect all industries and markets, and the timescale for improvement will entirely depend on when restrictions are lifted. At this stage it is very difficult to make any solid predictions, however I see plenty of reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the Oban property market in the months to come.

As ever, if you’ve any property related queries – especially in these strange times – don’t hesitate to contact us.