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Government asks house buyers to pause transactions

By Josh White

Date: Friday 27 Mar 2020

Government asks house buyers to pause transactions

(Sharecast News) - Officials in Westminster have put the brakes on the UK's housing market, in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus.
In an announcement, housing secretary Robert Jenrick's department said house buyers and tenants should delay moving to a new house during the lockdown period "where possible".

It comes after some banks, including Skipton Building Society and Virgin Money, had already removed mortgages from sale, with the new order from the government essentially hitting the pause button on the housing market.

"Given the situation in the UK with regard to the outbreak of coronavirus, we urge parties involved in home moving to adapt and be flexible to alter their usual processes," the official statement read.

"There is no need to pull out of transactions, but we all need to ensure we are following guidance to stay at home and away from others at all times, including the specific measures for those who are presenting symptoms, self-isolating or shielding.

"Prioritising the health of individuals and the public must be the priority."

The government did offer a concession for extenuating circumstances, however, saying that there was an exemption for "critical home moves" in the police's new emergency powers, in case a new settlement and moving date could not be agreed.

Mortgage lenders have also agreed to extend all home loan offers for three months, in a bid to allow borrowers more time to complete house purchases given the current lockdown.

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