You CAN move home: Property market will reopen TODAY… but Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick advises estate agents to stick to online viewings
- Around 450,000 home buyers and renters have been in limbo since late March
- Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told estate agents they can reopen today
- He said the housing market is ‘one of the most important sectors of the economy’
- Estate agents are advised to make use of virtual online viewings where possible
The housing market will be reopened today in a bid to get Britain moving again.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has told estate agents they can reopen immediately although they are being urged to use online viewings.
Removal firms can get back to work and construction companies will be allowed to extend their working hours to help with social distancing on sites.
An estimated 450,000 buyers and renters have been in limbo since the Government effectively shut down the property market in late March.
‘The housing market is one of the most important sectors of the economy and the ability to move home is also important to people’s lives,’ said Mr Jenrick.
‘It has been totally frozen, but we have been working hard on a comprehensive plan to get it moving safely again and we are now in a position to enable a complete reopening of the housing market.’
Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick (above) has told estate agents they can reopen immediately although they are being urged to use online viewings
The housing restart at a glance
The ban on moving house is being lifted tomorrow for the first time since March 26.
An estimated 450,000 buyers and renters, whose moves were stalled, have now been released from limbo.
Estate agents, surveyors and conveyancers have been told they can reopen tomorrow.
Removal men have been issued with new safety guidance, including being told to wear gloves and face masks.
Estate agents are urged to make use of ‘virtual viewings’ online wherever possible.
Councils have been told to allow construction sites to operate until 9pm, six days a week – unless there are ‘compelling reasons’ otherwise.
The warning over foreign holidays came from Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Asked if summer was cancelled, he told ITV’s This Morning show: ‘I think that’s likely to be the case.’
Downing Street played down hopes that a planned deal between Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron to avoid quarantine procedures would permit summer holidays in France.
The developments came as Chancellor Rishi Sunak admitted the country was already in recession, extended the jobs furlough scheme until October and:
- Warned firms they would have to start contributing to furloughed employees’ wages from August;
- New figures revealed that 7.5million staff have been furloughed, with the taxpayer picking up the bill at 935,000 firms;
- Figures out today are expected to show the economy started to shrink even in the first three months of the year;
- The daily death toll rose by 627, taking the UK’s official total to 32,692. The Office for National Statistics said ‘excess deaths’ stood at 50,979;
- Mr Hancock said people may have to restrict hugs until a vaccine is found;
- A survey found that a third of care homes had been forced to take in infected patients from hospitals;
- Britain’s biggest teaching union urged members to ‘not engage’ with back-to-school plans;
- National park chiefs in Wales warned visitors they would not be welcome;
- Back-to-work guidance said commuters would be allowed to car share provided they kept the windows open;
- Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said MPs would be expected to return to Westminster next month;
- Downing Street condemned a ‘despicable’ attack on a railway ticket officer who died after being spat on by a thug claiming to have the virus;
- All coronavirus patients treated in intensive care are to have their genes sequenced in a £28million study;
- Online searches for cleaners quadrupled after officials issued guidance on safe working.
Estate agents, surveyors and conveyancers have been told they can reopen tomorrow (file photo)
Ministers effectively shut down the housing market on March 26, with a change in the law that banned moves except where ‘reasonably necessary’.
Agents will now be asked to see clients by appointment rather than allowing them to walk into offices off the street.
Owners will be asked to leave the house or stand in the garden while viewings take place and clients will be asked to avoid touching surfaces.
A ‘Safe Working Charter’ has now been agreed with construction firms and councils will be asked to consider requests to operate building sites until 9pm to allow for staggered shifts.