The Residential Housing Market Reopens in England

HM Government pass The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 reopening the residential housing market in England

The Residential Housing Market Reopens in England

Published 13th May 2020

HM Government pass The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 reopening the residential housing market in England.

As many will have seen, HM Government, yesterday passed The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 which lifts the restrictions on residential estate agency which were imposed on 23rd March 2020.

The amendments to the Coronavirus Restrictions mean that from 13th May 2020, subject to social distancing, permit:

(i) visiting estate agents or letting agents, developer’s sales office or show homes.
(ii) viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or rent.
(iii) preparing a residential property to move in.
(iv) moving home.

And perhaps most importantly to the valuation industry:

(v) visiting a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property.

This means that valuers are now permitted by law to value occupied residential dwelling houses.

Is Method open for business?

Yes! Throughout the pandemic 40% of the Method panel valuers have been prepared to inspect vacant residential and commercial premises, for valuation inspections, subject to social distancing precautions and with the benefit of PPE. However, residential valuation proved extremely impractical in most situations even where the Coronavirus Regulations allowed inspection.

Method is currently in the process of confirming with our Lender Clients’ Panel Valuers how this amendment to the Coronavirus Restrictions will impact on their services and we will publish updated guidance shortly. This aside, we are pleased to announce new valuers have been recruited, and a number of Panel Valuers who had decided to place valuation services on hold are switching these back on.

Method’s Operations Director, Niall Deas MRICS RICS Registered Valuer, said:

This will be welcome news to a number of our Lender Clients who were being driven towards desktop valuations, which impacted their ability to lend. It will also please those clients who did not move towards desktop valuations and therefore were limited in the types of properties they could look at as loan security. We wait to see how the valuation community responds.

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