Having previously prohibited all but “reasonably necessary” home moves, last night the Housing Secretary announced new guidelines which would allow the housing market to resume as of today, Wednesday 13 May 2020.

The guidance, which has come as welcome news to the property sector, permits estate agents’ offices to reopen, viewings to take place (although video viewings still recommended where possible) and removal companies to resume activity, provided social distancing measures are observed at all times.

Whilst the announcement will not apply to all transactions, including those where a party must continue self-isolating or has contracted COVID-19, it is expected that the guidelines will substantially ease the pressure on the housing market. An estimated 450,000 people have been unable to progress their house move since lockdown was announced on 23 March 2020.