NAEA Propertymark has today launched a campaign for the government to introduce what it calls a Property Sector Support Package.
This would include so-called 'contactless viewings', a £1,500 loan to buyers who complete a purchase, and a stamp duty holiday to kick-start the market.
In a briefing to agents published this afternoon, the association reiterates the multiplier effect that the housing market has to the benefit of the wider economy, and provides evidence of strong latent demand from the public to buy and sell homes.
And then it sets out a series of demands. These include, firstly, a series of measures to allow what it calls “controlled viewings and conveyancing” including:
- Do not schedule back to back viewings and make sure the vendors are out;
- Do not conduct any viewings where anyone living in the property is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, however minor;
- Buyers will have to wait in their cars until they are told they can enter;
- Viewings must be contactless, make sure all lights are on, cupboards and doors are open;
- Reduce any need to touch anything in the property;
- Only two people from buyer’s party can attend a viewing at any one time together.
The NAEA Propertymark briefing then goes on to discuss incentives that the government should consider to help the market. These include:
- A cash incentive of £1,500 to home buyers, to be given on completion in the form of an interest free loan which they must repay when they sell their home;
- The money would be transferred to the buyer when they register the Title of the property;
- A six month holiday on stamp duty and any other property tax for residential transactions, which the association says would have knock-on benefits for the wider economy through more people buying and selling, and specifically the encouragement of more upsizing and downsizing.
The NAEA says over one million homes are bought and sold every year in the UK, contributing to an overall commercial and residential industry that supports 240,000 jobs and adds £13 billion to the economy.
It says the average cost of moving is around £8,885, which includes costs of valuing and surveys, legal fees, building insurance, estate agent fees, mortgage costs and broker fees. Other costs can include removal company or temporary storage.
And it warns the impact on DIY and removals alone is likely to be in excess of £8 billion combined.
The association wants agents to lobby their MPs through emails and letters.
You can see more details here.