The housing market will be key to reviving the British economy and needed to be re-opened, according to housing secretary Robert Jenrick.
At today’s press briefing, Jenrick said the “pressure for some to move was becoming acute”, with the government estimating that 450,000 buyers and renters have been unable to move house since March.
The UK’s housing market and construction industry were opened today, after government’s coronavirus lockdown was eased for some sectors of the economy.
Under the new regulations, people will be able to visit estate agents, view properties and move house without breaking lockdown rules.
Those involved will be expected to observe social distancing rules and wear gloves or masks where necessary.
The policy has come under criticism, with some pointing out that it is not allowed to go to a family member’s house, while estate agents can visit multiple houses.
Jenrick addressed these concerns, saying that all initial meetings with estate agents need to be done virtually and that open viewings are not allowed.
The housing secretary said the housing and construction industry would be crucial in aiding the country’s economic recovery.
“History tells us that in every economic recovery in modern British economic history that the housing market has been key to recovery and revival,” he said.
“As housing secretary, I will do everything I can to support the millions of people supported in the construction and housing industries to help the sector bounce back while always prioritising their safety and wellbeing.
“We restart the housing market and construction industry to protect lives, to save jobs and to begin rebuilding our economy.”