The property market in England is set to reopen following the Government’s announcement that lockdown rules for estate agents, home buyers and sellers are being lifted.
From today, new regulations will allow estate agents to reopen their branches to the public, and renters and buyers will be able to view properties and move home as long as social distancing measures are observed.
The government said show homes can also open up for viewings while removal companies and conveyancers may also fully resume work.
Previously, under lockdown rules, people were only allowed to move home where it was ‘reasonably necessary’, agents were prohibited from listing new properties and house hunters could only view online.
Since March, it is estimated that nearly half a million buyers and renters have been unable to progress their plans to move home, while recent research by property website Zoopla said transactions worth £82bn had been put on hold.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Our step by step plan is based on the latest guidance to ensure the safety and protection of everyone involved. This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those waiting patiently to move can now do so.”
Wards’ newly appointed Head of Conveyancing Rebecca Stuart said the new regulations were a welcome move: “Opening up the housing market is great news, and these regulations provide clarity for agents and everyone involved in the chain. It will also provide an all-important boost to the economy.”
“At Wards, our conveyancing team is fully prepared and ready to go across the business – we are expecting to see some increase in demand as those who are keen to move can finally progress their plans, although of course in this ‘new normal’, people will still need to adhere to the safety and social distance measures in place.”