Coronavirus and Residential Property: Housing Market Reopens!

Coronavirus and Residential Property: Housing Market Reopens!

Further to our article earlier this week we finally have some good news about a return to a new normality for the property sector. The government has set out plans to reopen the housing market which has been dramatically affected by the coronavirus lockdown.

Many potential purchasers and sellers have put their transactions on hold whilst they wait for more certain times to return. From today, estate agents are allowed to reopen and carry out viewings. Removal firms are now also allowed to operate which will relieve stress for those who are 'ready to go' but have been unable to make the appropriate arrangements to move.

Of course, everyone must still adhere to strict social distancing measures so the return will very much be a 'new normal' and it may take some time for estate agents and other firms to put in place those provisions.

The Housing Secretary has also announced a further series of measures which he hopes will contribute towards 'unfreezing' the housing market. These include allowing local councils and developers to publicise planning applications via social media and local councils allowing more flexible working hours on building sites. The changes will present their own complications and we will see how the practicalities of these changes play out in the coming days.

With effect from this morning, the rules, subject to approval from the government, will change. Whilst lockdown technically continues, property transactions will be one of the reasons for which an individual may leave their home. The regulations will state…

''(l) to undertake any of the following activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property—

(i) visiting estate or letting agents, developer sales offices or show homes;

(ii) viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or rent;

(iii) preparing a residential property to move in;

(iv) moving home;

(v) visiting a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property;"

This will of course be subject to agents, conveyancers and removal companies being able to give their staff a Covid-19 controlled environment and clients being content that premises are Covid-19 free.

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*This article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or other professional advice.