Homebuying is back as estate agents reopen and viewings resume
Homebuyers and renters in England can now move home if they follow new guidance, as the housing market reopens for business.
Since lockdown restrictions were implemented in March, more than 450,000 people have been unable to progress their plans to move house, the government said.
Buyers will now be able to complete purchases and view properties in person, while estate agents, conveyancers and removals firms can return to work while following social distancing guidelines.
Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “Today I am announcing new guidelines to allow the housing market to resume. Our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and letting process from viewings to removals.
“Our step by step plan is based on the latest guidance to ensure the safety and protection of everyone involved.”
Andrew Montlake, managing director at broker, Coreco, added: “It’s great that the Government has recognised the importance of the housing market to the wider UK economy, and many anxious buyers will be relieved that they can now continue with their transactions after weeks in limbo.
“There is still a long way to go before we have a fully functional housing market but this is a tentative first step in the right direction and cause for celebration.
“The great unknown is how cautious surveyors will be with their valuations and lenders their criteria but that will become apparent in the days and weeks ahead.
“It’s vital that all those working in the property industry, as well as buyers and sellers, landlords and tenants, are kept as safe as possible.”