Restrictions lifted on house moves and viewings

House moves and viewings in England are allowed from today as the government changed guidance imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Measures were introduced to parliament on Tuesday to allow those buying and selling homes and renting to move, an update on advice issued in late March that only house moves to vacant properties be allowed.

Estate and lettings agents can also reopen from today and house viewings are allowed, with strict social distancing rules applied.

Property website Zoopla said that £82bn worth of property transactions were on hold in late April due to restrictions.

Yesterday, it was announced that surveyors could begin physically visiting properties again.

Andrews Property Group chief executive David Westgate says: “Moving home is a highly emotive process and the reignition of the property market on Wednesday will help boost the nation’s spirits.

“Adherence to social distancing and the highest safety standards will be absolutely paramount and all precautions will be taken to protect people viewing property, including through the use of PPE equipment where appropriate.

“There are differing views on how the property market will shape up as the lockdown is gradually eased but we expect to see significant activity moving forward with a huge initial surge in pent-up demand.”

Goodlord chief operating officer Tom Mundy says: “It’s a huge relief to know that property viewings and moves will be permitted once more from this week. The whole industry has been on hold, with demand in the rental market building up as a result, meaning this news will be music to the ears of letting agents and tenants. Our Lettings Activity Tracker showed a steady increase in market activity during the first week of May, demonstrating that some of that pent-up demand was already beginning to leak out. This announcement therefore comes at the right time.”

However, the restrictions on house moving and viewings remain in place in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

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