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MAB and property firms send housing recovery blueprint to govt

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  • 04/05/2020
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MAB and property firms send housing recovery blueprint to govt
A trio of property firms including Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) have written to the government outlining their proposals for restarting the housing market.

 

Landmark Information Group, Simplify and MAB have been working closely with the government and other industry bodies to develop practical proposals to breath life back into the sector, they said.

The firms have laid out their proposals in a letter to Robert Jenrick, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government.

They want the government to define what a ‘safe’ house move would look like and for lenders to honour mortgage offers for borrowers who were part way through their transaction when the pandemic began.

Tax incentives to stimulate the market and an extension of the furlough job scheme for businesses operating in the house building industry, are also included in their blueprint for a housing market recovery.

Restrictions on movement laid out by the government at the end of March to protect the public from the spread of coronavirus effectively brought the housing market to a standstill.

Homebuyers and renters were told to delay moving house if possible, and physical valuations and viewings were banned where properties were still occupied.

Ben Thompson (pictured), deputy chief executive of Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “Our businesses play a vital role in the home moving process.

“We believe that we have a responsibility to join others who are campaigning on this and taking the lead in supporting the recovery of the wider sector at this critical time.

“We need a truly joined up approach that recognises that all those working across our sector must be able to operate again, co-ordinating seamlessly, in order for the market to recover.”

 

Two week approval

This weekend, the Mail on Sunday revealed ministers and property industry officials were formulating a plan to facilitate house viewings under social distancing rules.

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher is said to be hosting a video conference call with the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) this week to discuss how people can safely begin buying, selling and moving home again.

According to the report, preliminary talks held last week looked at measures such as asking vendors to temporarily leave the house during a house viewing, by waiting in the garden for example, and opening all doors and leaving lights on so buyers would not have to touch surfaces.

The number of viewings would be restricted and buyers could be asked to wear gloves and masks.

The plans will be sent to Public Health England for approval and are expected to be finalised within two weeks.

 

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