For weeks the housing market has been on hold under the Coronavirus lockdown. It is estimated that there are currently 450,00 potential buyers, sellers and renters left in limbo, unable to market their homes, carry out home moves to occupied properties or offer and carry out viewings. However, under new rules unveiled yesterday, from today estate agents can open, viewings can be carried out and removal firms and conveyancers can restart operations if they are carried out under social distancing rules.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said “Our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and letting process, from viewings to removals,”
“This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those waiting patiently to move can now do so.”
This will be a relief to many who have put on hold plans to move home and will allow the housing market to begin a recovery as a vital sector of our economy.
Under the new rules, house building can also resume with new guidance for construction sites and a ‘Safe Working Charter’ launched by the government and the Home Builders Federation to enable more projects to be completed. The Government is also allowing housebuilders to keep building sites open later and to stagger workers arrival times.
However, these new rules only apply to England, as the property markets in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland remain closed. Home viewings are not permitted under lockdown regulations and their land registries are running reduced services or are not registering transactions.
Sarah Bent, Head of Residential Conveyancing at Hegarty Solicitors said “This will come as welcome news for many of our clients who have put their plans on hold recently.
“We have been working hard to ensure we give our clients as much help and advice as possible to enable them to continue with their transactions, many that were already in progress when lockdown restrictions were implemented. The new rules will now allow those who were forced to put transactions on hold or were thinking about moving house or putting their house on the market to continue with their plans.”
While our conveyancing teams will be happy to help all of our clients and customers get moving again, we also urge you to contact your estate agents and lenders to ensure they are up to date on current situations as they may be able to provide additional information, help and support so things can move forward as smoothly as possible.
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For advice about buying or selling a home under the new guidance contact us today.