The Government has introduced new Tier 4 restrictions for London and the south-east - December 2020
The Government has introduced new Tier 4 restrictions for London, the south-east, and the East of England. This decision was made due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in these areas, and the growing concern about a new super-strain of the virus that is spreading much more quickly.
The housing market is set to stay open across the UK, including in Tier 4 areas of England, according to the recent announcement from Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick. His latest Tweet said:
'Housing market update: the sales and rental markets remain open in all tiers. All associated activities can continue as before.'
But whilst people are still permitted to move home, those outside an individual bubble should not help with moving property unless absolutely necessary according to the new guidance.
Under the new rules, people living in a Tier 4 area must not leave or be outside of their home except for where they have a specific purpose or 'reasonable excuse', which includes going to work or moving home.
It also states that estate and letting agents and removal firms can continue to work as normal, with property viewings still allowed to take place as long as COVID-19 safety guidance is adhered to, including social distancing and the wearing of face coverings at all times.
The government continue to prioritise the housing market as one of the most important economical drivers in this country, with the property market and housebuilding playing a pivotal role in the country's recovery from the pandemic through 2021. Both ourselves and the sector as a whole have continued to adapt and follow strict social distancing and health and safety guidelines during the past nine months.
The guidance from the government on moving during the pandemic has not changed. Safety measures must be followed when viewing a property in any of the designated tiers, however, many in the industry still recommend using a virtual first approach for the time being.
The announcement that the housing market is to remain open is a positive end to 2020, which will allow both buyers and sellers to continue with their purchases across England. This is especially important, as many are hoping to beat the stamp duty holiday which is set to end at the end of March 2021, and can save buyers up to £15,000!
Despite the rollercoaster year, buyer demand has soared by 40% during 2020 (Source: Zoopla). Demand has exceeded supply in 2020 with the number of properties coming to market down by 0.6% on the same period in 2019, but the number of sales agreed is up by 8.3% (Source: Rightmove).
The number of available properties for sales is at a record low, indicating some good scope for modest price increases in 2021.
Successive lockdowns and restrictions have led many people to re-evaluate their living situations. This is likely to continue with the more stringent restrictions in place in every increasing area of the country. The housing market continues to perform well above average levels for this time of year, and the property boom looks set to spill over into 2021.
For more information on market movements or general sales/rental enquiries, send me an email.