This week, the Government released certain measures to recover the UK housing market amid the coronavirus pandemic. Estate agents can now reopen, while viewings can take place while removal firms may restart in order to carry out the transactions which were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is estimated 450,000 transactions were put on hold after the market was put into deep freeze during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Following the relaxation of the measures, chairman of The National Association of Property Buyers, Jonathan Rolande insisted the sector could now recover but further measures may be needed.
He told Express.co.uk: “It’s come just in time to salvage the sector.
“If this had been July or open-ended that would’ve been the death of the market.
“It will stagger on but it’s on life support.”
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At the time of the breakout, mortgage lenders were encouraged by the Government to put forward a mortgage holiday.
Currently, homeowners have been given a three-month mortgage holiday in order to help those who had been put onto furlough.
However, this week Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed the furlough scheme will now be extended into the autumn.
In line with the extension of the furlough scheme, Mr Rolande added the mortgage holiday must also be extended or homeowners may suffer in the long run.
UK housing: Mr Rolande insisted the mortgage freeze could be extended
He added: “It would be helpful for the mortgage freeze to be extended.
“We can’t just let people’s debt building up as if prices drop, we’ll be looking at negative equity.”
Negative equity is when your home value is worth less than the mortgage which has been taken out.
If house prices drop, which is expected later this year, more homeowners could be faced with negative equity as home values below how much is owed.
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UK housing: Social distancing must be followed
UK housing: There are an estimated 450,000 transactions on hold
Although the housing sector has reopened, the Government has stated social distancing measures must be followed.
If anyone has been advised to self-isolate, they should not move home.
Those who are shielding or in the moderate risk bracket should balance the need to move home with the health advice provided.
There are also a series of stipulations for those visiting homes with the view to buying the property going forward.
UK alert system
Commenting on the regulation, Housing and Local Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick said: “I am announcing new guidelines to allow the housing market to resume.
“Our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and letting process from viewings to removals.
“Our step-by-step plan is based on the latest guidance to ensure the safety and protection of everyone involved.
“This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those waiting patiently to move can now do so.
UK housing: Mr Jenrick unveiled the measures this week
“Our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and letting process, from viewings to removals.
“This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those waiting patiently to move can now do so.”
These measures will only concern in England while property markets in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland remain shut.