M&B update – housing market to reopen

Published June 19, 2020

When we entered lockdown on 24th March we updated all our customers, suppliers and industry partners on the execution of our Business Continuity Plan and the measures we were taking to focus on the health and safety of our employees and their families during what was anticipated to be a difficult time ahead. Whilst we have continued to support our customers with a fully-staffed business working remotely, these essential priorities from a staff perspective remain and we continue to keep these at the forefront of our thinking in terms of planning our future return to office-based delivery.

What we have proven in these most challenging of circumstance is that our investment in collaborative, CRM and customer integration technology solutions have enabled us to continue to deliver with accuracy and timeliness throughout the lockdown period. With the First Minister’s announcement yesterday of relaxation in the house moving restrictions with effect from 29th June we are ready and capable in terms of increasing the support we can give to firms and their clients in getting the property industry moving again. We played an active role, with other industry stakeholders, as a member of the Scottish Government’s Home Moves in Scotland Restart and Recovery Working Group which has brought together safe moving guidelines to enable this restart.

One of the benefits of Millar & Bryce being part of Landmark Information Group, the property, land and environmental information specialists, is that we have had an early insight through sister divisions on how the reopening of the English market in mid-May has played out. Some bottlenecks have clearly emerged there, notably around survey backlogs and availability of higher LTV mortgage products, but there are clear signs now in our businesses working in upstream activities with mortgage brokers, estate agents and valuation that activity levels are recovering closer to pre-lockdown levels.

Despite all the re-emergence activity the same final message as 23rd March remains valid – please stay safe and look after each other.

Richard Hepburn
Managing Director