The latest data from the Office for National Statistics Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey (BICS) has indicated that those involved in real estate activities may have been less affected by the pandemic than other sectors.
The latest study shows that 9.5 per cent of businesses in the real estate industry saw their income increase by up to 20 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.
In comparison, across all industries, the national average for businesses reporting a similar increase in income was just 6.3 per cent.
Conversely, 9.2 per cent of businesses in the sector reported income was down by more than 50 per cent, compared to a national average across all industries of 12.1 per cent.
Obviously, this highlights that there is a significant disparity in real estate between firms seeing growth and those that are not. However, across the board, real estate is faring better than the national average for all sectors.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for reported profits, with nearly half of real estate firms saying profits have remained the same as the previous year.
When it comes to cash flow, 37.9 per cent of firms surveyed in the property sector said they had sufficient cash reserves for six months or more, while 16.4 per cent said they had enough cash for four to six months.
Worryingly though, more than a quarter (26.8 per cent) said that they only had sufficient cash reserves for one to three months of trading.
Businesses in the sector have made good use of the financial support available to them with 95.7 per cent of businesses connected to real estate activities making use of local grants.
However, companies have been less eager to make use of Government-backed loans, with only 29.8 per cent of businesses receiving finance from either the Bounce Back or Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. This is just below the national average of 31.5 per cent of firms across all sectors.
If your business has been affected by the pandemic or you require support with claiming financial support or applying for a loan, please contact us.