However, property investing isn’t as straightforward as its popularity might suggest. “Homeowners tend to think they understand property, but investing in it is very different to owning your own home, and comes with substantial costs and risks,” she said. Those risks have never been more clear cut than they have been since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Property investments have been hugely affected by the shifts in how we are all living our lives in the midst of lockdowns. City centres that were previous buzzing hives of activity have been emptied, shops have been closed temporarily or have gone out of business and while offices have stood empty as a whole, workforce gets used to working from home.
This downturn in economic activity has impacted on the ability of both individuals and businesses to pay their rent to landlords. In the first UK lockdown the Government relaxed the rules on late payments of rent and just 14% of the £2.5bn due from retail tenants was paid on time.
While vaccines could promise the end of Covid-19, the way we work, shop and socialise will have all been impacted this year and the value of property is not exempt. Things that might have seemed like safe bets in 2019 certainly won’t be when it comes to 2021.
So, for people who aimed to make money as landlords, or those who put their money into any type of real estate investment for that matter, 2020 will have been a tough reality check. It’s no wonder that alternative investments have been soaring in popularity, amongst them Scotch whisky.