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Insight & Opinion

Government takes steps to restart England’s housing market

Author: Gemma

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The government has introduced measures to help the housing market in England get back on its feet, including allowing estate agents to restart operations and permitting viewings to be carried out.

One of the many consequences of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK has been the property sector temporarily coming to an almost complete halt, but there is now some light at the end of the tunnel for buyers, sellers, investors and other stakeholders.

The government has introduced measures to help the housing market in England steadily get back on its feet, including allowing property viewings and giving estate agents, removal firms and conveyancers the green light to restart operations.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick stressed that this can only happen if social distancing and safety rules are adhered to.

He said: “Our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and letting process, from viewings to removals. This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those waiting patiently to move can now do so.”

It’s possible the market could see an influx of demand from property buyers and renters alike as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased and the economy begins to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Estimates have suggested that approximately 450,000 people have been forced to put their plans to move house on hold during the crisis.

Alistair Elliott, chairman and senior partner at Knight Frank, welcomed the new measures, calling them a “major first step”.

“We believe the public will have confidence to re-engage with the housing market,” he told the BBC’s Today programme.

The firm had previously highlighted a significant increase in enquiry levels among property buyers and sellers in the UK, noting that people are “planning for life after lockdown in greater numbers”.

In the week ending May 10th, the number of enquiries received by Knight Frank from property portals, social media and the internet was higher than in either of the two weeks before lockdown restrictions were implemented.

Andrew Groocock, regional head of sales for Knight Frank’s City and East region, commented: “People have gone from freezing to gearing up to do something because they realise we are going to come out of this.”

The route out of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown will be a long and challenging one for UK property and the economy as a whole, but signs of pent-up housing demand and a clear willingness to resume activity in the market will certainly offer encouragement for investors.

If you’re considering a buy-to-let property investment in the UK and would like to talk through some options, contact Experience Invest today.

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