26 March 2020 the Government urged house buyers to put their imminent property moves on hold during the UK lockdown designed to stem the tide of coronavirus. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said those due to move house should rearrange to a new date and delay the process of changing property. He said that even those scheduled to move on Friday should rethink plans to bring in the removal vans. He tweeted “I know that many people across the country are due to move house tomorrow. Whilst emergency measures are in place, all parties should do all they can to agree a new move date” This meant there were a lot of people who had exchanged contracts who had to work with other parties in a chain to agree a new move date. Mortgage lenders agreed to extend mortgage offers to enable this to be done. The Housing Secretary estimated that some 450,000 buyers had to put their plans on hold. There was a pause in operations for high street estate agents.
14 May 2020 government guidance gave the go-ahead for estate agent offices to open for business provided they considered how and when to reopen their offices in line with safer working guidance and social distancing measures.
Between 26 March and 14 May we had continued working trying to progress matters so that as soon as people could move home we were in a position that they would be able to do so. It had been quite peaceful but on 14 May the telephones started ringing again and people were wondering when they were going to be able to move. A lot of pent up demand had built into the market during the lockdown.
While estate agents, surveyors, conveyancing solicitors and removal firms are eager to see the market return to normal, it will take time to adjust to new practises and ways of working. It is vital that everyone involved in the buying and selling of property observes Government guidance on social distancing in order to help ensure that the market can remain open long term.
Please do not visit offices, view houses or allow your house to be viewed if you are showing symptoms or if you have been asked to self isolate.
Please be flexible with moving dates especially if one of the parties in the chain falls ill with coronavirus or has to self isolate.
These are strange and difficult times but Dixon Stewart are here to help every step of the way with your house move.
If you do require any assistance with your house move or any legal matters then do give us a call.
A law firm that has been offering expert legal help and advice to individuals and businesses in and around Christchurch and New Milton for more than forty years.