Just when we thought the housing market was safe from lockdown measures, the government has warned that it ‘may have to do more’ if the current spike in virus infections does ease off sufficiently.
Boris Johnson confirmed that this could include stopping people from moving home in England, a new rule which would cover the sales and rental sectors.
It comes after Labour leader, Keir Starmer, yesterday called for all property viewings to be suspended during the lockdown. While his suggestion was to close for ‘a short period of time’, many government figures fear that closing the housing market, even for a short while, could be catastrophic for the UK economy.
Speaking in Bristol, Johnson said:
“We’re going to keep the rules under constant review, where we have to tighten them, we will. Of course, if we feel things are not being properly observed, then we may have to do more. But, (it’s) far, far better for people to obey the rules that we have, than to simply promulgate new rules.”
All homebuyers and sellers who are entering contracts with estate agents need to gain clarification about what happens to that contract should the housing market be forced to close and should that affect the progress or value of their sale or purchase.
While this is not a good sign for UK housing, there should be comfort in the fact that closing the market is right at the bottom of the government’s list of desperate measures. It’s just too valuable to the nation and Boris will no doubt do everything he can to keep movers moving.