Housing Market Remains Open During Lockdown

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Despite the second national lockdown, the housing market is to stay open, the housing secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed.

According to Your Money, Mr Jenrick said on Twitter following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the second lockdown that ‘the housing market will remain open during this period’, in contrast to the spring lockdown when the market was curtailed for more than six weeks.

Tradespeople will continue to be able to work in people’s homes, and builders’ merchants and hardware stores will remain open, he added.

Mr Jenrick also confirmed that along with the extension of the furlough scheme, the government will extend mortgage holidays previously due to end on 2 November.

It is yet unclear whether estate agents and showrooms on housing developments will have to close after the government made clear that ‘all non-essential retail’ would be expected to shut, however, the Prime Minister made it clear that building sites will remain open during the lockdown.

It is positive news for everyone in the industry, especially as agents, lenders and conveyancers are already experiencing unprecedented levels of demand from consumers that are eager to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.

However, of the stamp duty holiday, Christopher Pincher, Minister of State for Housing said: “The temporary increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax nil rate band was designed to provide an immediate stimulus to the property market, where property transactions fell during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“The Government does not plan to extend this relief and will continue to monitor the property market.”

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