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What does Lockdown 3 mean for the housing market?

What does Lockdown 3 mean for the housing market?

Although
we’re fresh into a new year, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic linger. On January
4, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new national lockdown in England,
which is expected to last at least six weeks.

Lockdown 3,
which began on January 6, looks a little different to the one implemented on
March 23 2020. Measures include closing schools, non-essential shops and
leisure and hospitality facilities. Once again, people have been told to avoid
any unnecessary travel, work from home and only exercise outside once per day.

But where
does this leave the property market? Here at Ideal Locations, we take a closer
look.

What
happened during the previous lockdowns?

The first
lockdown in March 2020 halted activity in the housing market considerably.
Numerous building sites closed, and estate agents, removal firms and
conveyancers were unable to work. This continued until the government
‘unlocked’ the sector in mid-May.

A second
lockdown then came into effect in November. However, the housing market
remained open. Through the four-tier system, the sector also continued
operating, indicating that the government sees the property market as an
important part of the country’s economic recovery.

What are
the new rules on buying, selling and moving?

Similar to
Lockdown 2, the housing market remains open during England’s third lockdown. Estate
and letting agents, removal firms and tradespeople are allowed to continue
working in people’s homes in a safe and Covid-compliant manner.

With this, a
large number of homebuyers and sellers can continue with their transactions,
and many can complete before thestamp duty holiday deadline at the end of March.

While buyers
and tenants can move home, those outside a household or individual support
bubble should not help with moving unless it is absolutely necessary. Government
guidance for moving safely must also be followed. This includes social
distancing, wearing a face covering and ensuring the property is well-ventilated.

Mark Hayward,
chief policy adviser of industry body Propertymark, welcomed the news. “It is
vital that agents operate in accordance with government guidelines to help
prevent the spread of Covid-19, keep movers and buyers safe and keep the
housing market moving through these uncertain times.”

How has
the property market continued to adapt?

The property
industry as a whole continues to follow the social distancing guidelines. Since
the first lockdown, the sector has made huge leaps in the use of technology,
with many sellers and landlords encouraging virtual viewings.

This could
continue even after Covid, as buyers and tenants are using virtual viewings as
a way to narrow down their list of properties they wish to view in person.

The housing
market has been extremely busy since its reopening in May 2020, and this
increased demand for property has continued into the first few days of 2021. In
fact, Monday January 4 was the busiest day on Rightmove since early September
with over six million visits, making it the busiest ever start to a year.

While there
is a more positive outlook for 2021 thanks to the release of the Covid vaccine,
some factors may still heavily impact the housing market. However, interest in
housing is predicted to be strong for the foreseeable, meaning a healthier
market for seller, landlords and home movers.

You can view
the current guidancehere.

For more
advice, guidance or general enquiries regarding buying, selling, letting or
renting a home in Essex and East London, pleasecontact us today.

We also
offer afree online valuation to give you an estimate on how much
your home could be worth on the current market, or how much you could generate
in rent each month.

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