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Housing market to remain open despite second lockdown

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Following the announcement from Boris Johnson on Saturday 31st October, Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has confirmed that the housing market will continue to operate despite entering a second national lockdown from Thursday 5th November.

Taking to social media, Mr Jenrick confirmed:

  • Renters and movers are still able to move come their moving date or date of completion
  • Removal firms can operate to assist with those moving
  • Estate agents can operate and can continue with viewings
  • Construction sites can and should continue
  • Tradespeople can still enter homes.

All of these areas are of course conditional on those involved being able to follow Covid-19 safety guidance.

“This is excellent news following the announcement on Saturday, and we are delighted that the importance of continued movement in the housing market has been recognised by the Government, while they also take measures to reduce the number of coronavirus cases,” explains Sarah Brooks, Partner and Head of our Residential Property department.  “The last few months have seen an uplift in the market as buyers seek to take advantage of the Stamp Duty Holiday, which is currently running until the end of June 2021." (as confirmed in Rishi Sunak's Budget on 3rd March 2021). 

How can I move safely during lockdown?

The Government has released updated guidance on how movers, estate agents, removers and surveyors can continue with the home moving process during lockdown.  Their guidance includes steps such as:

  • Continue to wash your hands frequently and keep at least a 2m distance from those from other households, which is particularly pertinent when conducting viewings.  Some estate agents may also have other rules in place, such as a maximum number of people at viewings and it is recommended that face masks are worn in the property and in estate agent offices should a visit be required.
  • Changes to the way viewings are conducted, for example virtual viewings, home owners vacating the property, opening windows and doors to encourage ventilation and a thorough cleaning in between viewings.  Open house viewings are not permitted.
  • While removal companies are operating, they may suggest that those moving carry out as much of the packing as possible.  In the situation where removal firms are not available, you can have one other household assist with your move, as long as social distancing and hygiene measures are followed.
  • All those involved in the move should have the conversation about flexibility, and what steps would be in place should any of the parties be required to self-isolate or they have a positive coronavirus test, which may lead to delays.
  • You can continue to put your home on the market if you are considering selling, with estate agents able to take photos and videos for virtual viewings, as long as all involved observe social distancing.
  • There are no restrictions on the types of survey that can be done on a property you are buying.  When visiting the property to conduct the survey, all parties should observe social distancing and wear face masks when required.

For more details on the guidance on moving home, you can visit the Government website.

If you are currently using our Conveyancing department for your move and have questions as to whether this second lockdown will impact you, we will be in touch in due course with further detail.  Alternatively, for more information as to how we can assist you with buying or selling your home, you can contact our teams today on the following details:

Fareham: 01329 288121
Southampton: 023 8063 9311
Portsmouth:  023 9275 3575
Chandler’s Ford: 023 8071 7467
Waterlooville: 023 9277 6569