Landmark Information Group, Mortgage Advice Bureau and Simplify have written to Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick, to detail how government can help stimulate housing market recovery following the COVID-19 crisis.
The three businesses are seeking to support customers and protect jobs across the industry.
The group’s proposals include:
- Defining a ‘safe move’ and ensuring that the sector be one of the first to reopen during the phasing out of stay at home measures;
- Ensuring that those who were part way through transactions are protected by lenders continuing, where feasible, to honour mortgage offers;
- Ensuring the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) is extended for businesses operating in the home moving process beyond the restart of the market, to allow firms to rebuild income.
The group has been working with government and other businesses across the industry to ensure practical proposals are developed that will allow the market to restart as soon as possible.
To give consumers confidence, the group said that Public Health England’s endorsement of these proposals four market recovery will be essential.
Simon Brown, chief executive of Landmark Information Group, said: “We share government’s view that it is critical this crisis is a short, sharp shock to the economy rather than an extended depression.
“However, we are concerned that without a plan the housing market and home movers will experience the same uncertainty that followed the financial crisis.
“Protecting the housing market at this crucial time will help grow the UK economy and avoid a costly downward spiral.
“We know that government is also keen to achieve this, and our priority is to work with them to ensure the right short and medium-term decisions are taken.”
Ben Thompson, deputy chief executive of Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “Our businesses play a vital role in the home moving process.
“As a group we are market leaders in the provision of mortgage advice, surveys and conveyancing.
“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.”
David Grossman, chief executive at Simplify, added: “Our focus is on ensuring that we are able to support the home moving process to restart in a way that is safe.
“We recognise that the government rightly took strong and decisive action to effectively pause the UK home moving market.
“At the appropriate time it is critical that there is equally clear guidance to consumers and industry to allow the market to restart and to recover.
“Our priority is to work with government and others in the industry to establish this.
“While we know there are economic consequences from a dysfunctional housing market there are also significant social implications, making it essential that the market recovers as quickly as possible.”