Those who had aspirations of moving home during the Spring housing market had their hopes stopped in their tracks when the lockdown came into effect in March. Since then, it’s not been possible to bring new properties to the market (mostly due to the fact that it’s not been possible to arrange a Home Report). In Scotland, you need a Home Report before you can put your property on the market. These reports are prepared by surveyors and surveyors, like most other businesses in Scotland closed their offices and have been working from home. In addition, the social distancing measures meant that surveyors couldn’t visit properties to carry out the Home Report inspection.
Those who were fortunate enough to have their property on the market when the lockdown started have been similarly stopped from selling because, despite the very best efforts of videos of the property, viewers were simply not allowed to visit.
Now, nearly 12 weeks on, we’re beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
The Scottish Government last week released its route map through and out of the crisis and advised that we were currently in phase 1 of this process. As you might imagine, not much happens in phase 1 as it’s mostly preparatory.
The good news, however, for the housing market is that the restrictions will begin to be relaxed from phase 2 onwards.
A document has been published on the Scottish Government website that outlines the steps needed for the housing market to re-start. You can find that guidance by clicking here.
Whilst we don’t’ yet have a date when phase 2 will start, when it does start, you’ll now be able to leave your house to do the following:
- Visit an estate or letting agent, a developer’s sales office or a show home
- View a property you’re looking to buy or rent
- Prepare a property to move into
- Move house
- Visit a property to undertake any activity required for the sale of that property (surveyors and valuers will be able to visit to prepare the Home Report and property marketing particulars)
Up until we move into phase 2, the Scottish Government insists that house moves are restricted only to those that are reasonably necessary.