Forbes Solicitors and our clients welcome the Housing Secretary's plan to re-start the housing market

Together we are Forbes


18 May, 2020

Matthew Jones

An unveiling of a package of measures to kick-start the housing market during the current crisis will go a long way to help property developers and personal conveyancing clients of Forbes.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published measures to assist the market, including:

  • allowing staggered working times for construction workers;
  • deferring planning payments to Local Authorities; and
  • a social media streamlining process of planning applications.

Additionally, Estate Agents' offices can open, viewings are being permitted and removal companies are allowed to re-start operations.

Whilst personal health, safe working and social distancing are still fundamental, these measures should provide some much-needed support to a struggling housing market.

Michelle Thompson, Partner in Residential Conveyancing welcomes the changes saying; "It is great news for the residential housing market and in particular for all those people whose transactions have been put on hold due to the Government's restrictions. Whilst it is difficult to predict what will happen to the housing market in the near future, we have had very few transactions fall through and are cautiously optimistic given the number of enquiries we have received, that there is an appetite for ongoing transactions".

McDermott Homes, a leading property developer in the North West and longstanding client of Forbes, has tackled this challenging time head on. They now see real positives from what the Ministry has said and after taking a cautious and sensible approach to the initial guidance and advice from the Government, they are now very much open for business. McDermott's Sales Director Bev Kemp said; "We are delighted that we can now reopen our show homes and marketing suite, our sales executives have been extremely busy dealing with a high volume of enquiries across all sites which has resulted in bumper reservations. Clearly the demand for new homes is still as strong as ever".

Adam Bromley, Partner and Head of Property at Forbes said; "It is very promising to see that Central Government are obviously placing the operation of the housing market high on their list of priorities to kick-start a recovery in the economy as we start to come out of lockdown. There has been a huge slowdown of activity since lockdown was imposed and we are definitely now starting to see transactional work across all property sectors at Forbes start to get back to the levels they were at before. Undoubtedly further measures to support the restart of the residential market will be required such as a stamp duty land tax (SDLT) holiday and/or a reduction in SDLT rates to help people moving home and to rebuild confidence for developers to keep building".

For more information contact Matthew Jones in our Commercial Property department via email or phone on 01254 222316. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Learn more about our Commercial Property department here

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