ESTATE agents and home owners in the Costa del Sol are looking forward to Spain following England’s lead as the government gives the go-ahead for house viewings and moves under new measures.
The plans to restart England’s housing market allow buyers and renters to complete purchases and view properties in person, and estate agents, conveyancers and removals firms to return to work while following guidance on social distancing and safety.
England’s property market has been paralysed under lockdown. The government says more that 450,000 buyers and renters have been unable to make progress on their house moves since March.
“Our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and letting process, from viewings to removals,” Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said.
“This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those waiting patiently to move can now do so.”
The changes do not apply to the property markets in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
In another move aimed at unlocking the English housing market, the Housing Secretary announced a series of measures for the property construction sector.
These include allowing builders to agree more flexible construction site working hours with their local council, such as staggering workers’ arrival times to ease pressure on public transport. Also, enabling local councils and developers to publicise planning applications through social media rather than relying on posters and leaflets, and providing support for smaller developers by allowing them to defer payments to local authorities to help those struggling with cash flow.
In addition, the government and the Home Builders Federation have launched a new charter to help construction sites reopen in line with the latest health and safety guidance.
“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,” commented Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation Stewart Baseley on the moves.
“It should also provide the supply chain with the confidence it needs to accelerate its own restart.”
The Housing secretary stressed guidance from Public Health England must continue to be followed at all times. This means that anyone e advised to self-isolate should continue to do so and not move home.