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Saturday 30th May 2020

Government restarts England's housing market as viewings and house moves made legal

Some 375,000 have been put on hold

There's good news for those who were in the middle of moving house as lockdown hit.

Today, the government has restarted England's housing market.

A change to a coronavirus law now makes it legal for estate agents to restart viewings.

People can also now move house.

The government has restarted the housing market in England (Credit: Pexels)

It comes after seven weeks which saw the housing market grind to a halt due to the pandemic.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 were updated last night.

They revealed that, from today (May 13), it is possible to carry out viewings and house moves.

Read more: Mortgage payment holidays could be extended for 18 months

Trips to letting or estate agents are also back on the agenda.

People may now visit estate or letting agents and show homes.

You can also carry out viewings if you're looking for a home to buy or rent.

It’s great news that people can let, rent, buy and sell properties again.

Moving home and visiting homes to "undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property" are also allowed.

Essential moves only

Until today, only essential moves were permitted.

Moving home has been made legal again (Credit: Unsplash)

However, the government did strongly discourage people from moving.

As a result, house hunters have only been able to do viewings online.

Bodies acting for letting and estate agents welcomed the news.

ARLA and NAEA said: "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."

"Pent-up demand"

It added: "The new rules provide clarity to agents and will allow them to deal with pent-up demand from consumers."

Zoopla said almost 375,000 property transactions across the UK have been put on hold.

They are estimated to be worth £82 billion.

The statement added: "It’s also a step to reinvigorating the housing market."

It'll also offer "a boost to the economy."

Almost 375,000 property transactions have been put on hold (Credit: Unsplash)

The statement did reiterate that social distancing should be observed, however,

"Safety will be paramount. We would encourage everyone to follow government guidelines closely to protect others and themselves," it added.

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