Fantastic news! Lockdown restrictions will be eased further from Monday 12 April, with estate agent offices reopening across Wales…
The housing market has been given the green light to reopen branches after months of lockdown. As of Monday, our staff will be able to welcome you back to branches by appointment - whilst strictly following the most up-to-date COVID safety guidance. You’re in safe hands, as always.
Travel into and out of Wales from the rest of the UK will also be permitted as of Monday. This means if you are viewing a property or buyers are travelling to an appointment from outside of Wales, these physical viewings can also go ahead.
Whether you are buying, selling, letting or renting, the easing of restrictions is fantastic news for your property journey. We know that many of you will still have questions, and we will do our best to answer them in this blog post.
Can I view properties in person?
Absolutely. Virtual viewings are still advised whenever possible but physical viewings are also permitted. You need to ensure you book an appointment prior to your viewing and we will provide you with details of how it will be conducted and what is required to help keep everyone safe.
Some of the measures we are taking include:
- Adherence to social distancing rules
- Wearing PPE e.g. face coverings
- Occupiers leaving the property during a viewing
- Viewings should be limited to 15 minutes
- No more than two households should be present, with the agent counting as one household
- As few people as possible should be at the property
- Letting fresh air into the home by keeping windows and doors open
- No refreshments
Are your branches open?
Yes. As of Monday 12th April, we will be able to welcome you back to our branches, where our staff are waiting eagerly to help you with your property journey. We will be able to carry out face-to-face appointments - whilst strictly following the most up-to-date COVID safety guidance. Access to our branches will be by appointment only and so please ensure that you make arrangements with us over the phone or via email before you visit. Remember your face mask - unless you have an exemption.
Can I get a survey or a home valuation?
Absolutely! All activities associated with moving home, for example, removals processes, property preparation, handover of keys, surveys, and valuations can now also take place in line with the current Welsh Government guidelines.
In the rental sector, bailiff-enforced evictions are still suspended for the moment.
Can tradespeople work in my home during this time?
You can arrange for tradespeople and surveyors to visit your property prior to moving in but one person at a time can visit the property. We would recommend contacting removal companies as early as possible before moving home. If removal firms are not available, one other household can help you with your belongings.
Can I travel into and out of Wales to move home?
Yes. Travel into Wales is now permitted from UK nations as well as the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and the Republic of Ireland. The ban on international travel remains in place, for now.
Can I list my house for sale at the moment?
Yes. If you’re looking to sell or have a question about selling, give us a call – we’d love to hear from you! If you prefer, you can also visit one of our branches by booking a socially distanced face-to-face appointment.
I’m looking to buy a home in Wales. Should I wait?
If you’re looking to buy, the Land Transaction Tax holiday offers the fantastic opportunity to save thousands of pounds over the coming months. It has now been extended until 30th June 2021. This, coupled with the new, widespread availability of 5% deposit mortgages, means this is a fantastic opportunity to purchase if you act now.
Is now a good time to sell or should I wait?
Jonathan Williams, Regional Director for Countrywide, with over 30 years experience in property, has this advice for those of you looking to sell:
‘If you’re selling, the first thing to note is the skyrocketing level of buyer demand, fuelled by the search for more space and a greener lifestyle. This is one of the strongest Spring housing markets we’ve seen in over a decade. The average asking price for a UK home has risen to record highs, boosted by the high demand from buyers. The number of properties on the market at the moment is also lower than in previous years - so, if you do decide to sell now, you should get a lot of interest.’
Time to take advantage of the Land Transaction Tax holiday is tight. So if you’ve got your mind set on selling, it may be best to do so sooner rather than later.
We are incredibly excited to welcome you back into our branches. We want to reassure you that we are taking all the safety precautions necessary and following the latest government guidance so that everyone can continue to move safely throughout 2021. Whatever stage you are at with your property purchase or rental, we are committed to supporting you in every way we can.
We will continue to update our websites and keep you informed of the latest property market developments as they unfold.