Finance News

Government freezes all but 'critical' home moves

This morning, lenders agreed a three-month extension to mortgage offers to help with delays relating to Covid-19.

Rozi Jones
27th March 2020
house move box homemover

The Government has urged people not to move home in new guidance for the housing market during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Government says home buyers and renters should, where possible, delay moving to a new house while measures are in place to fight coronavirus.

Its guidance says: "Where the property is currently occupied, we encourage all parties to do all they can to amicably agree alternative dates to move, for a time when it is likely that stay-at-home measures against coronavirus will no longer be in place.

"If your property is already on the market, you can continue to advertise it as being for sale but you should not allow people in to view your property."

In the new emergency enforcement powers that the police have been given to respond to coronavirus, the Government says there is an exemption for "critical home moves", in the event that a new date is unable to be agreed.

However, it is urging all parties involved in the home moving process to "adapt and be flexible to alter their usual processes".

It says there is no need to pull out of transactions, but that all UK citizens should "stay at home and away from others at all times".

Where the property being moved into is vacant, people can continue with the transaction but are being urged to consider home removals and other situations where they are likely to come into close contact with other people.

This morning, lenders agreed a three-month extension to mortgage offers to help with delays relating to Covid-19.

The government says it is also working with conveyancers to develop a standard legal process for moving completion dates.

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, commented: “This advice gives long awaited clarity for home buyers and sellers after some previous mixed messages. The new advice does enable some moves to take place, but under prescribed conditions. We now look to lenders to take a pragmatic approach and facilitate extensions on mortgage offers. Agents should nurture any deals that are currently agreed and keep both buyers and sellers informed as the situation develops. Health and safety is imperative, so we urge anyone who can stay home to do so.”

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