What does the latest lockdown mean for the housing market?

The announcement of a new lockdown in response to coronavirus will leave many people confused on what they can and cannot do when it comes to moving home.

To help avoid this, OnTheMarket has detailed the latest Government advice.

While people are only allowed to leave home for limited reasons, non-essential shops and schools have closed. At this point in time, experts suggest the restrictions will remain in place until mid-February.

However, the housing market remains open so people can continue to buy, sell, rent or let their properties as stipulated within the Government’s advice, but people outside of the household or support bubble should not help anyone with moving house, unless absolutely necessary.

The Government’s own advice states:

You can still move home. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.

Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings.

Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing and wearing a face covering.

You can market your home and estate agents can visit to take photos/videos of your property. You can also start to bring together the documentation necessary to sell your property.

Can I view properties in-person?


In-person viewings are still allowed but some estate agents, sellers and buyers may delay these and direct buyers and renters towards online/virtual viewings in the meantime.

OnTheMarket has introduced a search filter for properties which have a virtual tour or a video viewing. Once the search results have been returned, a filter can be applied which selects only properties which have an video viewing option or a 3D tour. The filter will be in the top right of the screen.

Covid-secure measures should be in operation during in-person viewings.

These include:

1. Wearing a face covering

2. Avoiding touching surfaces where possible

3. All viewings must be by appointment only and open house viewings are not allowed

4. All internal doors of the property being viewed should be left open, and surfaces, such as door handles, should be cleaned after each viewing.

5. Windows should be kept open to ensure maximum ventilation

It is also recommended that property owners wait outside while viewings are taking place to minimise unnecessary contact.

Of course, any viewing must be delayed if a person is displaying Covid-19 symptoms as per government guidance.

Staying safe while moving home

Removal firms can still continue to work, however social distancing measured must be observed.

This means the person moving home should do as much packing as possible themselves.

The BAR (British Association of Removers) suggests that movers clean their belongings before the removals staff arrive and ideally leave the property while the removers are working, either by staying outside, or staying within one room.

Further advice can be found here.

Content provided by OnTheMarket.com is for information purposes only. Independent and professional advice should be taken before buying, selling, letting or renting property, or buying financial products.

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