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Estate agents reopen and house moves back on

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

England’s property market will restart from today after the government gave estate agents the green light to reopen.

Conveyancers and removals firms can also start operations again while following social distancing guidelines, and buyers and renters will be able to complete purchases and view properties in person.

Surveyors are also allowed to enter homes to complete valuations as long as they keep two metres apart.

The government estimates more than 450,000 people have been unable to progress with plans to move house since lockdown restrictions were implemented in March.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “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.”

In another move to unlock the housing market, the Housing Secretary has announced a series of measures to get the country building homes for the future, including:

  • Allowing builders to agree more flexible construction site working hours with their local council, such as staggering builders’ arrival times, easing pressure on public transport
  • Enabling local councils and developers to publicise planning applications through social media instead of having to rely on posters and leaflets, helping to unblock the service
  • Support for smaller developers by allowing them to defer payments to local councils, helping those struggling with their cash flow while ensuring communities still receive funding towards local infrastructure in the longer term

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: “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.”