Housing market remains open during new national lockdown

The housing market will remain open during the new lockdown in England.

Boris Johnson has announced a set of new national restrictions for England, similar to the March lockdown.

But unlike the first lockdown, the housing market is to remain open for business.

Government advice on home moving during the coronavirus remains unchanged. Consequently, people in England will be able to move and removal firms, tradespeople, and estate agents can still operate by going inside homes. Adherence to safety and social distancing remains crucial.

Government advice on moving home: 

You can still move home. People outside your household or support
bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.

Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. If you
are looking to move, you can go to property viewings.

Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes
advice on social distancing, letting fresh air in, and wearing a face
covering.

Industry reaction: 

Ben Taylor, CEO of Keller Williams UK, said: “With immense caution I welcome the fact that the property market remains open albeit that viewings and the physical moving process itself must be met with extreme diligence. Why have the government chosen to ‘exempt’ the UK housing market and estate agents?

“Think of it as a string to the broader economy rather than it doing us estate agents a particular favour especially with billions of pounds in accelerated property transactions currently competing to complete by the end of the stamp duty deadline on March 31st.”

The managing director of Enness Global Mortgages, Hugh Wade-Jones, commented: “It remains business as usual for the UK property market and as a result, it’s unlikely we will see any decline in the huge levels of buyer activity seen since last year, nor should we see property prices detract from their current upward trend.

“Billions of pounds in property transactions are also currently waiting to be dragged through the system prior to the stamp duty holiday ending. It would have been a disastrous move for the government to have slammed the door in the face of these aspirational homebuyers so close to the finish line and would have no doubt caused a landslide of property transaction fall throughs and a drop in values.

“Of course, the industry must continue to operate with immense caution and all physical aspects of the home buying journey itself must be treated with kid-gloves. Literally.”

Mark Hayward, chief policy adviser, Propertymark, said: “We welcome the news that the housing market is to remain open throughout this new lockdown period, but it is essential that all agents continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus through following all relevant guidance on how to safely conduct viewings.

“It is vital that agents operate in accordance with government and Propertymark guidelines to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, keep movers and buyers safe and keep the housing market moving through these uncertain times.”

Director of Behnham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented: “The latest news of another national lockdown should do little to slow the momentum of the UK property market, given that official government advice still deems it ok to transact and move home.

“As a result, the industry will continue to service the vast number of homebuyers who have entered the market since last spring and this will ensure that many more will benefit from the current stamp duty holiday.

“With no speed bumps in sight for the time being, the market is now clear to accelerate through the gears throughout the coming year and we should see a healthy increase in transactions and price growth over the coming months, if not, across the remainder of the year.”

You can view the full government guidance for the lockdown in England by clicking here.

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8 Comments

  1. smile please

    I wonder if all the posters from earlier today on their moral high horses will elect to close for business off their own back?????

     

    ……..Somehow I doubt it!

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    1. Quags

      We are. As of tomorrow our office is closed.  Virtual valuations, virtual viewings, sales chasing etc.

      If a viewer is proceedable and wants to view physically, arrangements will be made for a 15 minute run through the house once they are certain it is of serious interest, whilst the vendor/agent waits outside.  If it’s a take on, the vendor will wait in the car, or post keys for us to go in to do our bit.

       

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      1. smile please

        In other words no. You will just follow guidelines.

        Long as you can justify it to yourself its okay

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      2. htsnom79

        Lol, sounds like the classic Schwarzenegger movie Running Man

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  2. SamH

    Positive news as the market remains open. Get valuable and visible (and largely virtual) in your community but maybe don’t shout that you can work while so many can’t.Be the conduit of information so many people will need right now and for the weeks to come.Hands, face, space. Take care out there.

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  3. Neil Robinson

    I must admit I was less concerned about not being able to do viewings and valuations because that demand would likely be delayed rather than disappear, much like last time.

    However I was massively concerned that we wouldn’t be able to get pipelines through. Reading the gov.uk page, I’m less concerned about that now.

    Now is the time to promote yourselves heavily and get active on social and in your communities, because once again, a lot of agents will just sit on their hands.

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  4. St4r

    Stamp duty obligation has filled its purpose. Extending will only put first time buyers at risk- It’s time that first time purchasers get the assistant that they require. I trust the government if willing can uphold FTB by firstly ending properties selling at overpriced, sell at a reasonable reach for what it’s worth as venders are abusing the circumstances. This puts first time purchasers at an extraordinary hindrance.

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  5. Property Poke In The Eye

    Any serious buyers will wait as most feel the market will take a correction.

    Most renters seem to be staying put, the ones which are looking don’t pass the referencing.

    We just have to be sensible and see if you we can genuinely help, if we can’t then we should stay away and avoid spreading the virus.

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