Welcome relief in Lancashire as property market reopens following coronavirus lockdown

With the country heading for coronavirus recession according to the Chancellor, some hope has been offered with the re-opening of the housing market.

By Tim Gavell
Friday, 15th May 2020, 3:18 pm

It is one of the sectors open from Wednesday thanks to the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said that April saw both buyers and sellers pulling out of transactions, resulting in the newly agreed sales balance for April falling to -92 per cent, down from -68 per cent in March.

But now estate agent and surveyors can go into people’s homes where necessary to get things building again, people can visit homes for viewings and removal firms can work.

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Ben Moore of Ben Moore Bespoke Estate Agents based in Cleveleys

The move is timely as many independents have been without income and expert say there are £82m of transactions on hold.

Cleveleys-based Ben Moore, of Ben Moore Bespoke Estate Agents, said: “The knowledge that we can now safely visit, market and sell homes is brilliant news for homemovers, estate agents and the wider economy. It’s important that both parties take the necessary precautions to respect social distancing guidelines and return to work in a safe and controlled way.

“There will still be no shaking of hands, no group viewings, and a 2m distance between myself and property viewers or sellers will be practised at all times.

"The transition into the lockdown period presented many challenges for my business. As a relatively new business without premises, there was a lack of Government aid for me as a self-employed estate agent. I’m relieved to be able to resume working now and get the housing market moving again on the Fylde coast.

“While the Government considers it safe for appointments to resume, I respect that some local residents may not. In that instance, our remote valuations and consultations are still available.”

Stewart Baseley, from the Home Builders Federation, said: “A resumption of work will play a major part in helping the economy recover as well as delivering the homes the country needs.”

Miles Robinson, Head of Mortgages at online mortgage broker Trussle, said: “Some lenders, such as HSBC and Virgin Money have already confirmed that valuations are starting to be booked in.”

Stephen Moss of Sourced Capital, said: “While the return of market activity is great news it will be some time before we return to the buoyant levels seen post-election.”