The government opened the housing market for business once more as certain lockdown restrictions have been lifted this week. GMB host Piers took to his Twitter account to blast the latest announcement, as Health Secretary Robert Jenrick said the changes must be carried out under social distancing rules.
Meanwhile, the public is still being told to keep from seeing family members, as deaths from the virus continue on a daily basis.
Piers tweeted: “So I can go out today and buy a house – but I can’t go to my second home? #commonsense.”
It has been estimated that 450,000 buyers and renters have their plans put on hold amid the coronavirus lockdown.
“Our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and letting process, from viewings to removals,” Mr Jenrick said.
“This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those waiting patiently to move can now do so.”
However, property markets in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland remain shut.
Home viewings are mostly being conducted by video link, as the lockdown may have encouraged more people to move property.
Jonathan Hopper, chief executive of real estate consultants Garrington Property Finders, said: “Few things are more likely to make people want to move than being cooped up in the same four walls for weeks on end, and property portals have seen traffic increase by up to a fifth.”
The latest announcement will test the housing sector’s stance that frustrated buyers and renters will be desperate to move.
As many are now facing declining finances after the coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every industry’s revenue.
Estate agent Savills suggested that people who still have money to look for somewhere new may now be rethinking their priorities.
Many buyers are already insisting on property discounts as some even seek 20% off their purchase.
Property website Rightmove has said that online viewings were up 45 per cent as many seek a bargain.
Property adviser Henry Pryor said he had four clients who had deals put on hold by the lockdown, all of whom were now seeking 20 per cent off the agreed price, but would likely settle for 5 to 10 per cent.
He added: ‘There is going to be a Mexican standoff and it will be interesting to see who blinks first.
“Estate agents will try to convince us that it is business as usual, but buyers will have read the reports about the economy and say they are taking a risk.”
“All the deals that were sitting there will have to be renegotiated. Lots will collapse.” He added.
Published at Thu, 14 May 2020 04:33:00 +0000