The Coronavirus outbreak has posed a significant challenge to real estate businesses in the UK. The sector has recently faced significant economic uncertainty around Brexit, but Covid-19 has been a disruptor like never before.
As the Government has taken steps to reduce the spread of the virus, those within the real estate sector have had to react accordingly. There have, however, been extremely positive signs of sector recovery and adaptation, such as a wider use of virtual viewings, electronic adoption of document execution and closings, lenders taking a more agile approach with flexible longer term solutions, responding to new property development requirements following the mandated time at home and technology being embraced by Local Authorities and the Land Registry.
Real estate businesses have had to adapt to the circumstances whilst simultaneously having to comply with short-term obligations. This includes payment of rent and ensuring the longer-term viability and survival of their business as they seek to manage cashflow.
Now that real estate operations are picking up, opportunity has certainly arisen within the sector. Low interest rates and a decline in property prices provide interesting prospects for those looking to invest in property. Those looking to take advantage will need sound and trusted legal advice to assist in navigating such affairs through the frequently changing environment.
While the short term outlook is still developing what's clear is that the situation will continue for some time yet and therefore a stable forward-looking business plan is crucial. Businesses will need access to good and up-to-date knowledge and advice, so they can understand the risk and implement changes to weather the storm. Where we have expertise that can support our clients in navigating this uncertain time, we will share in-the-moment updates as they arise.
At Howard Kennedy, we too are seeking to be agile and work in new and innovative ways. To support our clients and their advisers, both in the UK and internationally, we plan to share regular insight as and when the situation develops. As we have always been, we are available to talk on the phone, and we have expanded our technological capabilities to make video calls for those who prefer a more face-to-face approach.
For us, it's business as usual… just not in the usual place. But if there's anything we can do to better support your business then please let us know.