The UK has been in lockdown for months, though real estate services were deemed essential.
Now, the government has announced plans for restarting the housing market, modifying regulations concerning the COVID-19 virus, and releasing a new set of guidelines for private residential buyers and renters in England to follow moving forward.
These guidelines cover home viewings and the reopening of estate agency, removal, and conveyancing offices.
The guidance order covers only England as of now. The administrations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have yet to follow suit.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick explained:
“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.”
Some highlights of the modified regulations include:
- Virtual tours should take priority when possible, with limited contact if viewings must be done in person.
- In the case of an in-person viewing, keep touching of any surfaces to a minimum, keep windows and doors open, and stay out of the house if your presence is not needed for the viewing.
What can be concluded is, buying, selling, and renting real estate is expected to continue to gain traction, though social distancing and sanitation are top priorities. Hopefully, the regulations will help the real estate market while also keeping the spread of the virus to a minimum.
Read the full guidance report here.