With another lockdown period announced for early November, running through to December, it is natural many people are looking for guidance on how this affects them.
The property market has previously experienced a lockdown, with minimal activity taking place between March and July of this year. For the second lockdown period, it appears as though the housing market will continue to operate as normal.
The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick has made it clear that “the housing market will remain open throughout this period. Everyone should continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus by following the current guidance.” The Housing Secretary has also said in respect of agents and people moving; “They will need to follow social distancing guidance that has already been published.”
Information is being updated regularly
The Government has said, through a spokesperson that “estate agents will be able to operate” but as of yet, hasn’t provided any further guidance. As soon as this information is updated, we will act accordingly.
As always, we advise people to stay in touch with the latest Government guidelines on moving home, which can be found online here. As estate agents, we also have guidelines to follow, and you can rest assured we will follow the latest instructions carefully.
On the evening of 3rd November 2020, the Government issued the following guidance to the industry:
individuals may leave home…
…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 to rent;
(iii) preparing a residential property to move in;
(iv) moving house;
(v) visiting a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property.
Since the housing market re-opened in July, we have worked tirelessly to provide a safe standard of service that meets our customers’ needs and expectations. If you have any questions regarding the property market right now, please get in touch.
With the stamp duty holiday looming, we know people are keen to move as soon as possible. At Country Properties, we are here to assist you as best we can.
Industry experts speak out on the sector remaining open
Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark, spoke about the market remaining open, saying; “We welcome the news that the housing market is to remain open throughout this second lockdown period, and it is essential that all agents continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus through following all relevant guidance. Agents must operate in accordance with government and Propertymark guidelines, to keep the market moving through these uncertain times.”
Kate Davies, an executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, commented: “While the country faces a second national lockdown, the Government has rightly decided to keep Britain’s housing market open. Lenders, advisers, surveyors, and conveyancers are already experiencing unprecedented levels of demand from consumers eager to take advantage of the Government’s stamp duty holiday, which is due to end on 31st March 2021, and also the Help to Buy scheme, which will be available only to first-time buyers from 1st April 2021.”
Kate also said; “They now face the task of helping thousands more consumers potentially requesting payment deferrals as borrowers struggle to meet their mortgage repayments during the lockdown. Closing the housing market at this time would have only added to this pressure on the sector by creating yet another backlog of demand once lockdown ends.”
Currently, in line with Government guidelines, our Letchworth Garden City branch is open and our and lettings personnel are here to assist you. To clients old and new, if you have any queries or need advice on property sales and lettings then please call 01462 481100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.