Our business is now operating normally albeit adhering fully to the Government guidance on COVID-19. Our offices remain closed for public access with all services accessible remotely. Protocols are in place for safe working during this period, details of which will be made clear to all who interact with us.


Or does it? Steps are being taken by the Chancellor to replace the furlough scheme with help to business although there will continue to be debate about targeting assistance where it is most needed (economically) but it is serious when the Chancellor decides, as he has, to cancel the budget due in November. Cancelling or at least postponing a budget is not uncommon. It was last done by Sajid Javid in view of the December election of 2019.

It has been widely speculated that the Chancellor would increase tax (CGT being of particular concern in the property market) in the budget and lawyers have been put under strain to get contracts completed before the budget date. That stress, at least, has been removed. Commentators are now speculating that with the economy still being under severe strain now is not the time to add to the tax burden. Indeed, according to some economists it may be years before there is any serious review of fiscal policy.

In the meantime, with the cost of borrowing being so low and record low interest rates being paid on deposits, cash rich investors are looking for a home for their cash. This is having a continuing effect on yields with some, even provincial but well let investments (25 years, no breaks, grade A covenant and indexed rents) seeing initial yields of below 5% (at least asking). But stock is in short supply and yields continue to vary widely reinforcing the need to take specialist advice when buying.

Valuations have been troublesome over the last few months with our professional body (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) insisting upon inclusion of the Material Valuation Uncertainty Clause in all valuations due to COVID-19. However, instruction has now been received by all Chartered Surveyors to remove such clauses from future reports indicating a degree of stability is returning even in these uncertain times.

Mark. S Hanson FRICS
Hanson Chartered Surveyors
Hanson Chartered Surveyors is a Walker Singleton Group Company

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