The housing market will remain open during the second national lockdown, according to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick. Confirming that home moves would still be allowed, along with work to properties, Mr Jenrick tweeted: “Renters and homeowners will be able to move. Removal firms and estate agents can operate. Construction sites can and should continue. Tradespeople will be able to enter homes. But all must follow the Covid safety guidance.”
During the spring lockdown the housing market was brought to a standstill for two months with restrictions on physical viewings and home moves. This was followed by a mini housing boom as a result of pent-up demand and the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday.
Commentators from across the industry have reacted to the move, including Mark Hayword of NAEA Propertymark, who said: “We welcome the news that the housing market is to remain open throughout this second lockdown period, and it is essential that all agents continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus through following all relevant guidance. Agents must operate in accordance with government and Propertymark guidelines, to keep the market moving through these uncertain times.”
The Prime Minister also announced that mortgage payment holidays, due to end in October, would be extended.
Kate Davies, executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association said: “While the country faces a second national lockdown, the government has rightly decided to keep Britain’s housing market open.
“Lenders, advisers, surveyors, and conveyancers are already experiencing unprecedented levels of demand from consumers eager to take advantage of the government’s Stamp Duty holiday, which is due to end on 31 March 2021.
“Closing the housing market at this time would have only added to this pressure on the sector by creating yet another backlog of demand once lockdown ends.”
Read more about this story on the Mortgage Introducer website.