Govt confirms housing market to stay open during second lockdown

The government has confirmed that the housing market will remain open beyond the new lockdown measures due to come in across England from Thursday.

Taking to Twitter, Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, stated that “renters and homeowners will be able to move”, “removal firms and estate agents can operate”, “construction sites can and should continue”, and that “tradespeople will be able to enter homes”. Jenrick added that all those involved must still follow COVID-19 safety guidance.

Boris Johnson announced over the weekend that strict new coronavirus measures will be imposed across England on Thursday and said that he expects the lockdown to last until 2 December.

Commenting on the the implications of another lockdown on the housing market, IMLA executive director, Kate Davies, said: “While the country faces a second national lockdown, the government has rightly decided to keep Britain’s housing market open.

“Lenders, advisers, surveyors, and conveyancers are already experiencing unprecedented levels of demand from consumers eager to take advantage of the government’s stamp duty holiday, which is due to end on 31 March 2021, and also the Help to Buy scheme, which will be available only to first-time buyers from 1 April 2021.

“They now face the task of helping thousands more consumers potentially requesting payment deferrals as borrowers struggle to meet their mortgage repayments during the lockdown. Closing the housing market at this time would have only added to this pressure on the sector by creating yet another backlog of demand once lockdown ends.”

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