Mortgages

What does the lockdown mean for the property market?

February 2021

On 22nd February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the Government’s four-part roadmap to loosening lockdown. But how will this impact the property market?

England’s third national lockdown started on 6th January and the four-part roadmap to lift the lockdown restrictions is now in place. If all goes well, the legal limits on social contact could be removed by 21st June 2021. The easing of lockdown starts with the reopening of schools to all students on 8th March. But what does it mean for the property market?

We've seen that many of you have shared your property questions on social media and we will do our best to answer them in this blog post. We will continue to update our websites and keep you informed of the latest property market developments as they unfold.

Firstly, what’s happening in the housing market?

The housing market has been extremely busy since it first re-opened and this increased demand for property shows no sign of slowing down. According to Rightmove, the first week in February saw website visits up 45%, with keen home-hunters sending 18% more enquiries and the number of purchases agreed increasing by 7%.

Can I move home in lockdown?

We, as always, adhere to any current Government guidelines to ensure that our customers can move safely. Current guidance states: “Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work…If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings.” 

The latest update for England won’t affect home moves as the property market continues to remain open. As we move into the different stages of the lockdown roadmap, in-person viewings are likely to increase as the restrictions are slowly eased.

Can I view properties in lockdown?

Yes - both virtual and in-person viewings are available. Prior to your appointment, we will provide you with details of how it will be conducted and what is required to help keep everyone safe.

Some of the measures we are taking include: 

  • Adherence to social distancing rules
  • Wearing PPE e.g. face coverings
  • Occupiers leaving the property during a viewing
  • Viewings should be limited to 15 minutes
  • No more than two households should be present, with the agent counting as one household
  • As few people as possible should be at the property
  • Letting fresh air into the home by keeping windows and doors open 
  • No refreshments

Can tradespeople work in my home during lockdown?

You can arrange for tradespeople and surveyors to visit your property prior to moving in, but only one person at a time can visit the property. We would recommend contacting removal companies as early as possible before moving home. If removal firms are not available, one other household can help you with your belongings if absolutely necessary.

Can I travel to other areas to move home during lockdown?

If necessary, yes. The sales and rental markets remain open and you are permitted to stay overnight away from your home if you need accommodation while moving house. The Government is asking us to use our judgment and only stay away from home if absolutely necessary.

Can I list my house for sale at the moment?

Yes. If you’re looking to sell or have a question about selling, give us a call. You can visit one of our branches by booking a socially distanced appointment.

I’m a tenant, can I still move home?

Yes, tenants can still look for properties and move home. You can also bring in a professional cleaner if you need to before the end of your tenancy. All tenants must abide by the same guidance that applies to buyers during this period, such as doing online viewings first.

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