Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement regarding the easing of some lockdown measures, estate agency Jackson-Stops has commented that it is unclear where the property industry falls.
Johnson outlined that those unable to work from home should return to work, avoiding doing so by public transport if possible.
For those in the property market, as with many others, this leaves a problematic lack of clarity, according to Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops.
Leeming said: “It is disappointing that Boris Johnson’s announcement [was] so vague.
“Undoubtedly, it will not just be the property industry [which] is unsure on whether [it] can return to work on Wednesday or whether they do indeed need to wait until the 1st June, or even longer.
“Our first priority at Jackson-Stops is of course to minimise risk to staff, clients and those members of the public that we deal with.
“However, as an industry we are currently very much left in the dark, uncertain as to which category government has placed us in, and unsure on when we should be gearing up to go back to work.”
Leeming reported that, although virtual tours and video calls with agents were taking place to keep the property industry ticking over during the lockdown, there is a considerable amount of potential business on pause until restrictions are lifted.
With agents therefore eager to return to full capacity and take advantage of this build-up, more clarity is needed from government, both in terms of timeline and working practices.
Leeming said: “For now, Jackson-Stops will continue to liaise with sellers via telephone and videos calls, and show perspective buyers around homes via virtual tours where possible.
“Over this period, we have seen a strong appetite from potential buyers to view properties once out of lockdown, with viewing lists for some properties reaching double digits.
“It is important that not only does the government provide clarity on when the industry can return to work, but should also provide best practise guidelines on how estate agents should commence these viewings once it is possible to do so.”