Property Market Just Weeks Away From Phased Return
Boris Johnson is expected to use Sunday’s briefing to set out the exit strategy for UK business which will include opening the UK property market within three weeks.
According to Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, during a recent Rightmove Hub webinar, NAEA Property have been ‘working with MHCLG and BEIS and also conveyancers and removals firms’ to agree a strategy for safely reopening the property market ‘once the lockdown has eased.’ This includes estate agents and other property stakeholders reopening their doors in a safe and phased manner.
Following the leaked proposals on Sunday concerning property viewings which suggested they would be capped per day with all doors and cupboards open in advance in order for them to remain ‘contactless’, Mr Hayward expanded on the further measures being suggested for estate agents.
Firstly, viewings will be limited to 15 minutes per perspective buyer with a maximum of two people. This will mean that viewing times will need to staggered, individualised and capped. Until the crisis is cleared, open houses will not be permitted.
All stakeholders will need to ensure they are wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the viewing and vendors will need to disinfect all surfaces prior to every viewing.
The webinar also provided an insight into compliant social distancing office arrangements after the lockdown. Screens will need to be installed between all desk areas, hot desking will no longer be permitted, all surfaces will need to be disinfected regularly and all staff will need to be provided with PPE.
In terms of those working out of the office environment for a section of their day, appraisal or viewing staff will need to be separated from those working exclusively in the office environment.
Mr Hayward was clear that current restrictions and expectations had not changed and any agent breaching health advice should fall in line with immediate effect.