Will reduced quarantine breathe life into the Prime Central London market?

30 November 2020 | Investment

Will reduced quarantine breathe life into the Prime Central London market?

There is hope that a reduced quarantine time for travellers arriving into England from December 15 will provide a boost for the Prime Central London (PCL) property market.

Last week, it was revealed that arrivals to England from other countries can reduce their isolation period by more than half if they pay for a Covid-19 test after five days.

The announcement was made by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps with the aim of bolstering ‘international travel while keeping the public safe’.

The new rules, coming into force next month, will still require arrivals from destinations not on the government’s travel corridors list to isolate.

However, if they pay for a private test – which comes back negative – after five days they will no longer need to self-isolate. According to the BBC, test results are usually issued within 24 to 48 hours.

This means people could be released from isolation six days after arriving in England, down from the previous blanket requirement of 14 days. Private Covid tests will cost between £65 and £120.

Lisa Simon, head of residential at property consultancy Carter Jonas, says the news is ‘hugely positive’ for overseas property buyers.

“There is no doubt that trips to London will be more appealing for new buy-to-let purchases and for those dealing with the sale of existing stock,” she says.

“If people are smart with their travel plans, they can isolate over a weekend and still have some of the working week for vital meetings that can’t be done remotely.”

She adds that Carter Jonas’ PCL teams have clients from the US who will be flying into the capital ‘the minute the restrictions ease’, which could kick-start some areas of the market.

Meanwhile, Camilla Dell, a buying agent and managing partner at Black Brick says the quarantine reduction could help transaction volumes in PCL ‘spring back to life’.

“Until the whole of London is open, including restaurants, hotels [and] retail, we don’t see foreign buyers returning in huge numbers, even with the new rule in place.”

This post has originally been featured in Property Investor Today.