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Partial reopening of housing market in Wales from 22 June

Friday 19 June 2020

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford has announced that there will be a partial reopening of the housing market in Wales from Monday 22 June 2020.

Estate and letting agents can reopen their offices and the Welsh Government’s five-mile Coronavirus travel restrictions are lifted for the property sector. 

The Welsh Government’s position is very much about opening as much of the market as possible whilst minimising risk.

This means:

  1. All house moves can go ahead where the residential property has been unoccupied i.e. vacant for at least 72 hours.  
  2. House moves can take place where a sale has been agreed but not yet completed.
  3. The marketing and viewing of unoccupied residential property can take place.
  4. Valuations and inspections of occupied residential property are allowed but should be done so safely and in line with the Welsh Government’s guidance on working in someone’s home.

House moves can still not take place where the residential property is occupied. However, the Welsh Government has said that agents can now prepare to market these properties subject to a full reopening of the sector.  

Welsh Government announcement

Where possible agents should continue with virtual viewings and carry out physical viewings only on property that are unoccupied.

Propertymark has engaged with the Welsh Government throughout this process and lobbied Members of the Welsh Parliament urging all sides to implement a full reopening of the housing market in Wales.

Further detail has been set out by the Welsh Government in guidance.

Quote mark

Whilst a partial reopening of the housing market will be welcome for some it doesn't go far enough and allow all house moves to take place. We made this point to the Welsh Government and have provided feedback to their guidance so the information they publish relating to occupied and unoccupied properties is clear. In particular, clarity is needed around the 72-hour rule for properties. Agents should now carefully review any sales that were agreed but weren’t completed before the pandemic and look at all avenues to pursue house moves leading up to further changes in the rules.

Mark Hayward

Mark Hayward
NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive