Housing Market -Coronavirus Update

Partner Amanda Edwards reviews the latest proposals as the housing market is released from lock down.

On 23 March 2020, the Government imposed drastic restrictions in an attempt to beat the coronavirus pandemic.  Under these restrictions guidance was released to say that whilst some property transactions could proceed where ‘reasonably necessary’, it was largely encouraged that all parties in a chain agree to defer any completion date until such a time as the restrictions were eased. 

As a result it is estimated that nearly half a million people were unable to progress their property transactions during this time and, according to an online listings agency, approximately 373,000 property transactions with a total value of £82billion were placed on hold across the UK.

From 13 May 2020, house moves and viewings will be able to resume again across England in accordance with new legislation. 

Changes were presented to Parliament on 12 May 2020 under The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2020.  This sets out that people will be allowed ‘to undertake any of the following activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property-

  • Visiting estate or letting agents, developer sales offices or show homes;
  • Viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or rent;
  • Preparing a residential property to move in;
  • Moving home;
  • Visiting a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property.’

The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has advised those ‘waiting patiently to move can now do so’ but only as long as it is carried out in line with social distancing and safety rules.  He further stated that removal companies, conveyancers and estate agents could restart their businesses with immediate effect as the plan covers each aspect of the sales and letting process from viewings to removals. 

It is no doubt that these companies will be putting in place their own safety measures in a bid to safely and successfully get England moving home again.

If you would like to discuss a sale, purchase or any other property transaction with us then please do not hesitate to contact our Head of Department, Amanda Edwards at [email protected] or 01827 311411 who will be happy to answer any questions.

Contact us on: 01827 311 411 or [email protected]