Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick is expected to announce tomorrow that the housing market in England can resume with estate and letting agents returning to work.
Previously it was the travelling to and from properties for "non-essential purposes" that was the key factor in restricting activity.
But an amendment to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 published this evening means travelling can be undertaken for a range of purposes including, explicitly, dealing in property. The precise wording reads:
in sub-paragraph (f), omit the words “travel for the purposes of”;
(v) for sub-paragraph (l), substitute—
“(l) to undertake any of the following activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property—
(i) visiting estate or letting agents, developer sales offices or show homes;
(ii) viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or rent;
(iii) preparing a residential property to move in;
(iv) moving home;(v) visiting a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property;”;
A joint statement this evening from David Cox, chief executive of ARLA and Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark reads: “It’s great news for consumers and the industry that the housing market is being opened up and people can let, rent, buy and sell properties again. The new regulations provide clarity to agents and will allow them to deal with pent up demand from consumers. It’s also a step to reinvigorating the housing market and will be a boost to the economy. Safety of course will be paramount, and we would encourage everyone to ensure that they follow Government guidelines closely to protect others and themselves.”