Movement in the property market
The government has restarted the property market with announcements allowing property purchases and sales to take place, as well as more movement in home building and construction.
Anyone in England can now move if they follow new guidance published by Robert Jenrick, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government.
Since lockdown restrictions were implemented in March, more than 450,000 people have been unable to progress their plans to buy and sell homes.
All buyers are now be able to complete purchases and view properties in person, while estate agents, conveyancers and removals firms can return to work while following social distancing guidelines.
In another move to unlock the housing market, the Housing Secretary has announced a series of measures to get the country building homes again, including:
*Allowing builders to agree more flexible construction site working hours with their local council, such as staggering builders’ arrival times
*Enabling local councils and developers to publicise planning applications through social media instead of having to rely on posters and leaflets
A new charter has also been launched by the government and the Home Builders Federation, helping construction sites reopen in line with latest health and safety guidance.
Mr Jenrick says: “Our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and letting process from viewings to removals.
“Our step-by-step plan is based on the latest guidance to ensure the safety and protection of everyone involved.
“This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those waiting patiently to move can now do so.”
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, adds:
“Over the past week or so many house builders have commenced a gradual return to work, in a structured way that ensures the safety of its workforce and the general public.
“The industry sustains hundreds of thousands of people in numerous roles and associated sectors, boosting local economies across the country.
“A resumption of work will play a major part in helping the economy recover as well as delivering the homes the country needs.
“It should also provide the supply chain with the confidence it needs to accelerate its own restart.
“The charter is the public facing evidence which supports the very detailed protocols individual builders now have in place to ensure safe working on sites.”
John Newcomb, chief executive office of the Builders Merchants Federation, insists afety has the highest priority as the industry returns to work.
“Over the past three weeks, since the publication of new branch operating guidelines, we have seen increasing numbers of merchants safely re-opening or expanding operations to support their trade customers,” he explains.
“House builders’ structured return to site provides even more confidence within the supply chain and provides further evidence of the construction industry’s determination to assist in the recovery of the UK economy.”
Guidance from Public Health England must continue to be followed.
Anyone advised to self-isolate should continue to do so and not move home or go to work on a building project or site.
Government guidance makes clear that tradespeople can operate in homes, provided they do so in line with health guidance.