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From face masks to stamp duty holidays, what is the future of property sales after lockdown?

By Eitan Fox  //  Mon 11th May 2020
The NAEA is asking the government for a support package, including a £1,500 loan for home buyers and a six-month stamp duty holiday.
From face masks to stamp duty holidays, what is the future of property sales after lockdown?

With estate agents likely to be among the first businesses to reopen after lockdown, industry body NAEA Propertymark has set out its asks and protocols for getting the sector back on its feet.

The NAEA is asking the government for a support package, including a £1,500 loan for home buyers and a six-month stamp duty holiday.

The interest-free loans would be transferred to buyers on completion and repaid when they sell the property. The sum would help meet the costs of moving home, including legal fees, buildings insurance, estate agent fees and mortgage costs - thought to average more than £8,000 per sale.

The NAEA believes that this, and a property tax holiday, would have knock-on benefits for the wider economy. Mark Hayward, chief executive said: “It is now vital that the government understand the importance of the property sector and put measures in place to maintain consumer confidence and keep the market moving.”

The organisation has also briefed estate agents about how it believes the industry will work after lockdown. Proposed measures include “contactless viewings”, not scheduling back-to-back appointments, requesting open doors and cupboards to limit contact and restricting visits to one or two buyers.

People viewing homes could be asked to wear face masks and gloves, while agents would be armed with sanitisers and wipes. Vendors would be absent from the home and any buyers showing signs of the virus would be refused entry.

Video viewings are likely to continue to be play a major part in the process, post lockdown with visits to branches and paper copies of property details discouraged. Open house events, where many buyers visit during the course of a day may also be banned.

Read more about this story in the Evening Standard Homes & Property and Estate Agent Today.

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