The UK government has announced that the housing market will remain open, despite the country being forced into another full lockdown which could last well into the Spring.
Estate agents are allowed to keep their high street branches open and house viewings are permissible just so long as strict social distancing and cleaning protocols are followed. Buying and selling can continue, including removals, but the extra safety protocols may lead to the cogs of the industry moving a little more slowly than usual.
Along with construction and manufacturing, the housing market is in rarified company as one of only a few industries being allowed to stay open due to its being a part of the UK economy which the government says is “essential to keeping the country operating”.
The new lockdown measures, which Boris announced on Monday evening, will come into effect on Wednesday (6th Jan) morning but will not technically become law until MPs vote on the measures later that afternoon. They are fully expected to support the PM’s decision.
The rules in Scotland appear to be largely the same with First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, being clear that construction and property can only stay open if they use the minimal amount of people required at any one time, thus avoiding too much close contact.
These most recent lockdown restrictions are set to remain in place until at least 15th February.
No comment has yet been made about extending the stamp duty holiday which is due to finish at the end of March. As soon as we hear anything, we will let you know.