Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work, the guidance said
British real estate agents remained hopeful that robust housing demand will continue despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement Monday night that England would enter the most extreme lockdown measures since Covid-19 first gripped the U.K. last spring.
The latest news of another national lockdown should do little to slow the momentum of the U.K. property market, given that official government advice still deems it OK to transact and move home, said Marc von Grundherr, director of estate agency Benham and Reeves, following the announcement.
The so-called Tier 5 restrictions will close all schools with a few exceptions, including nurseries, and urge all non-essential workers to stay home except for necessary shopping and exercise, according to the government website. In a televised briefing on Monday, Mr. Johnson asked that all residents start abiding by the rules immediately and said he expected Parliament to pass the new rules into law on Wednesday, with other governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland enforcing similar measures to stem the spread of a new, more transmissible variant of the Covid-19 virus.
Nevertheless, home sales and rental agencies are deemed essential businesses under the heightened restrictions, and home viewings are allowed with health precautions in place, the government said in a document outlining the new rules.
Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings, the guidance said.
Still, other parts of the new guidance strongly advise people to stay within their town or region. While those rules could dissuade or confuse house hunters interested in moving further afield, several estate agents have already expressed optimism that demand would remain strong in the British housing market—which has proved a bright spot in the economy.
It remains business as usual for the U.K. property market and as a result, it’s unlikely we will see any decline in the huge levels of buyer activity seen since last year, nor should we see property prices detract from their current upward trend, Hugh Wade-Jones, managing director of lender Enness Global Mortgages, said in a statement following the lockdown announcement.
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