Estate agents return to work after restrictions are lifted

Estate agents are allowed to open their doors to the public again after a seven week break. Picture:

Estate agents are allowed to open their doors to the public again after a seven week break. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Estate agents in England have been given the green light to return to work today by the government.

Restrictions on sales and lettings which have been in place since March were lifted last night, allowing agents to open their offices and carry out viewings, as long as social distancing rules are observed.

Removal firms and conveyancers have also been given the go ahead to resume operations.

It’s believed that 450,000 buyers and renters were forced to put their moving plans on hold when the housing market was all but frozen on March 26.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and letting process, from viewings to removals.

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“This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those waiting patiently to move can now do so.”

This news was welcomed warmly by estate agents, who were left in limbo earlier this week when the prime minister’s plan for lifting lockdown made no mention of them.

Nick Doyle from Cassidy & Tate said last night’s announcement came as “a complete but pleasant surprise” as the industry expectation following the release of Boris Johnson’s masterplan had been for a return in June.

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Nick added: “I know colleagues are chomping at the bit to get back to work and this is a clear indication the government are keen to kick-start the economy through the housing market and construction.

“As ever the devil will be in the detail, especially as to how viewings can take place safely and suitable PPE measures can be enforced. We will be ready, willing and able.”

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