House moves and viewings have resumed in England, but the housing market could take up to a year to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has warned.
The government eased lockdown restrictions this week, permitting house moves and viewings from Wednesday, providing social distancing measures are maintained.
Tradespeople on self build and renovation sites were also actively encouraged back to work on Wednesday, with the government issuing new workplace safety guidelines for builders to help restrict the spread of Covid-19.
House moves and viewings had been frozen since lockdown was first implemented on 23 March, with buyers and renters urged to delay moving. And the impact of the coronavirus crisis is to be felt for months to come, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which anticipates house prices to be lower as the market begins to reopen.
The latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey, which highlights the impact of lockdown on house sales, revealed that in April 80% of respondents saw people pull out of transactions.
Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, said: “Not surprisingly, the latest survey shows that housing activity indicators collapsed in April reflecting the impact of the