Richard Pike, Phoebus Software sales and marketing director, says “After the start we had to 2020 the whole market was buoyant and looking forward to the potential of a return to pre-financial crisis activity.  No-one could have predicted what came next and, as we can see from the March figures, the effect of the coronavirus outbreak started to be felt almost as soon as the lockdown was implemented.

“Despite the fact that many of the housing transactions, being reported in these figures, were in the pipeline up to three months earlier, it is evident that the lockdown caused some to be stalled.  The hope is that the transactions that are waiting in the wings will be completed once the crisis is over, but we have to be prepared for some to fall by the wayside.  We are likely to see an element of caution creep back into the market and fears over affordability, with many people seeing a real knock to their finances, cannot be ignored.

“Nonetheless, we are hearing more positive comments from the government that it is planning an easing of the current measures.  Whilst, in our own market, we are already hearing brokers reporting an increase in new-build enquiries.  So, perhaps, this heralds the return of at least a little confidence.”