A look behind the Housing Market Headlines

The government has now published its advice on home moving during the COVID-19 outbreak and unsurprisingly the national press responded by taking a sensational position that the housing market is “suspended” or with a front page of “Don’t Move Home”.

I think it is time to provide a more balanced analysis of what the government actually stated and where it leaves us in planning ahead. The first thing to stress is that whatever the situation “we all need to ensure we are following guidance to stay at home and away from others at all times”. However, the guidance states “there is no need to pull out of transactions” and encourages buyers and sellers to “adapt and be flexible”.

So what is practical and possible in the weeks ahead? Where a property being moved into is vacant, then there is no reason the transaction shouldn’t proceed as long as guidance is followed on removals. Agents can provide virtual viewings, lenders can offer desktop surveys, there is no reason why unoccupied properties cannot proceed.

For occupied properties, life is more challenging but searches can be completed, draft contracts produced, mortgage offers extended………….and as the guidance states, “include explicit contractual provisions to take account of the risks presented by the virus”.  Burley Geach can still progress your sales and purchases even if in a chain and the property is occupied. We can progress it to the point of exchange and then once the social distancing measures are lifted we can complete the transaction.

Each transaction is unique and therefore our advice will be tailored to meet your needs and requirements.  We have always prided ourselves on our professional approach and now more than ever we hope that you will feel in safe hands. We at Burley Geach are definitely open for business and shall continue to serve our client’s needs through this difficult time.