As England finds itself told to stay home again, investors and developers alike have revelled in the fact that England’s property market can continue to operate.
- Housing minister Robert Jenrick says England’s property market will stay open
- Estate agents, construction sites and tradespeople can work as normal
- Mortgage payment holidays have been extended for up to six months
- UK house prices continue to rise but stamp duty holiday ends March 2021
With England being placed into a second national lockdown from this Thursday until 2 December new measures include closing non-essential retail, hospitality and leisure facilities, as well as stricter social distancing guidelines. People also advised to avoid unnecessary travel, and work from home when possible.
However despite these measures, property market activity is exempt from this closure, housing minister Robert Jenrick confirmed that renters and homeowners will still be able to move during this period. As well as this, construction and conveyancing is also allowed to continue operating. Viewings and valuations are also permitted during November’s lockdown.
The first lockdown back in March resulted in a temporary halt to much housing market activity. Many building sites closed for a short time, while other parts of the industry such as estate agents, conveyancers and removal firms also ceased operations.
It wasn’t until May that the government “unlocked” the sector by allowing agents and the like back to offices. Meanwhile, there have been huge leaps in the use of technology to get around many of the issues over the past six months, and housing market activity has been at a record high since the summer.
Most agents are well prepared to continue to work remotely should they need to, given the experience between March and May. Likewise, conveyancers and mortgage lenders will be able to shift back to home working quite smoothly, so hopefully sales progression will continue.
Lockdown 2 FAQ
How do virtual property viewings work?
Leaps in the use of technology have created the ‘virtual viewing’ process. The use of 3D cameras has enabled buyers to take a self-guided tour around a property on their computer or smartphone. In other cases, especially if a property is unoccupied, agents may take their own videos as they walk around it or during a video call with the home-hunters.Some agents also offer virtual appointments where they can talk to potential buyers through a virtual viewing as they would if they were at the property in person.
It is advised that you take a virtual viewing first, although you can still view properties in person.
Will conveyancing continue during lockdown?
Conveyancers will continue to support the sale of properties during lockdown.
They will also help sellers and buyers wishing to change their completion and moving dates until after lockdown.
What happens if I’m due to exchange and/or complete during lockdown?
The government has confirmed that exchange and completions can go ahead during the second lockdown period.
However, it has also advised that efforts should be made (with the help of your conveyancer, estate agent and any other members of the property chain) to undertake completion after lockdown if possible. However if timings cannot be pushed back, then it can go ahead.
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