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Lockdown through the eyes of an Apprentice

Posted on 29th March, 2021

I joined Jacksons back in 2019 as an apprentice business administrator and I have been lucky enough to be offered the role of paralegal once my apprenticeship is complete.

The last year has thrown many obstacles in my way through my progression from apprentice to fee earner within the New Build Department. In the centre of a global pandemic, the implementation of a national lockdown proved to be extremely challenging. With myself and my team members moving from the office to working from home, this change in environment was a challenge in itself with the limited access to day to day resources. However, workflow was steady and only increased when lockdown began to ease, and restrictions began to be lifted last year.

Learning on the job during a global crisis has proved to be difficult with social distancing restrictions prohibiting hands-on training and limited face to face contact with colleagues. With clients, colleagues and property developers all feeling the strain of the pandemic and the challenge of an imposed national lockdown, the support and positive attitude of my team really helped me push through the hardest and most challenging of days.

With the sudden announcement of a national lockdown, many businesses faced devastating effects. In the early months of lockdown, we saw various restaurant chains being forced to close permanently and supermarkets struggling to keep their shelves stocked. However, the housing market remained steady with little change in sales. The introduction of the government’s furlough scheme was a helping hand to many businesses struggling through the pandemic. The scheme saw many mortgage lenders impose stricter conditions in obtaining a mortgage. However, with many lenders not accepting the scheme this did prove to be one of the biggest challenges the market faced. So, when Boris Johnson announced the easing of lockdown restrictions on the 23rd June 2020, many businesses began to flourish again, and this was prominent within the housing market and sales began to rocket.

With more and more people putting their properties up for sale, a new avenue was opened for many first-time buyers looking to get onto the property ladder. With New Build Developers now offering more enticing incentives, the new build market began to thrive through the easing of lockdown allowing prospective home buyers a virtual insight into their potential new homes whilst abiding to the government’s strict restrictions. The later announcement from The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak on the 8th July introducing the new stamp duty holiday further increased these sales with more homeowners looking to buy their next home.

To date, the housing market has remained consistent with sales only increasing due to the stamp duty holiday. The  sector, whilst facing lockdown’s downfalls has worked tirelessly to keep pushing through these strange and uncertain times and this has proved only to have positive repercussions. However, with the current national lockdown only time will tell what impact this will have on the property sector as a whole.

If you would like advice on buying or selling your property, contact the team at Jacksons here.

Ruth Kilmartin, New Build


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