New regulations have been introduced by the government to allow buyers and renters to view properties and move homes.
Estate agents can now open, viewings can be carried out, and removal firms and conveyancers can restart operations.
Mary-Anne Bowring, managing director at Ringley Group, comments: “There’s no reason buyers or renters shouldn’t be able to move home if they are able to do so safely in accordance with social distancing guidelines so today’s announcement is welcome news.
“However, we shouldn’t pretend this means the housing market has returned to its pre-coronavirus state. Lockdown is set to continue in some form for an unknown amount of time, the resulting economic disruption will likely weigh down on activity in the for sale market.
“A Stamp Duty holiday proposed by RICS and others would likely see a stampede in transactions while an extended Help to Buy will support some sales and in turn housebuilding.
“Yet the government should think long term and introduce policies to reflect Britain’s changing housing needs. Private renters are a fast-growing part of the housing market and need catering to.
“Yet politicians seem intent in squeezing buy to let landlords out of the rental market and the build to rent sector – a positive emergence – simply isn’t big enough yet to absorb all rental demand.
“If the government cut Stamp Duty surcharge for landlords it could help stimulate the market by encouraging BTL investors to snap up homes to then rent out. Many landlords also help support housebuilding through off plan sales.
“The housing market as whole will also have to get ready for a digital-first approach to transactions as more tasks and jobs are done remotely.”
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