Lockdown & The Housing MarketBack to News & Events
On Monday 4 January, Boris Johnson announced that England was to go into lockdown for a third time. Guidance has now been issued on what this means for the housing market and those buying or selling property.
The main points:
- The housing market in England will remain open in all 4 tiers. This means that people looking to move home will be able to both continue with planned moves and view new properties to move into in the future.
- Estate and lettings agents, removers, valuers and people in sales and lettings offices and show homes will be able to continue working.
- Published guidance provides important public health information to ensure that moving home and related activities, such as viewing property, can happen safely.
It is important to understand that the process of searching for and moving into a new home is different at the moment because property agents, conveyancers and other professionals have modified how they work to reduce the risk from COVID-19. These changes could include doing more online, such as offering virtual viewings; vacating your current property during viewings; and ensuring your property is thoroughly cleaned before someone else moves in.
We encourage all parties involved to be as flexible as possible and to be prepared to delay moves, for example if one of those involved becomes ill with COVID-19 during the moving process or has to self-isolate. This should be discussed with your solicitor.
The issued guidance states:
- Initial viewings should be done virtually wherever possible. Homemade are able to assist you with this.
- Members of the public who are visiting any show homes, marketing suites or viewing a property should wear a suitable face covering. Homemade will require you to arrange an appointment before visiting any premises or properties.
- Viewings should be arranged by appointment only. When viewing properties in person, you should avoid touching surfaces wherever possible, wash your hands regularly and/or use hand sanitiser.
- Only potential purchasers should view properties, please do not ask family or friends to accompany you. If you need to be accompanied by small children, you should try to keep them from touching surfaces and ensure they wash their hands regularly.
- If people are being shown around your home, you should open all internal doors and ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned after each viewing with standard household cleaning products.
- We recommend that you vacate your property while viewings are taking place in order to minimise unnecessary contact.
- Anyone involved in any aspect of the home-moving process should practice social distancing in line with public health advice.
- When moving between properties, you and those in your household should try to do as much of the packing yourself as you can. Where this is not possible, you should speak to removal firms in advance.
- If you are particularly worried about the risk of infection, then please contact us.
Everyone involved in the moving process must follow social distancing to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
For Homemade customers who have there property on the market, it is entirely their choice whether they allow viewings to take place either in person or virtually.