Associate solicitor Manisha Bhula, head of Blandy & Blandy’s residential property team, provides an update on the housing market following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a national lockdown.

On Saturday, October 31, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England will enter a ‘tier 4’ national lockdown on Thursday November 5.

The unexpected weekend announcement left many who are in the middle of buying and/or selling property wondering whether their move will be affected as we saw earlier in the year.

Back in March, the housing market was largely closed for a near two month period, resulting in significant delays and in many cases, transactions falling through entirely, as people’s individual circumstances changed and lending also tightened.

This time, the market will not be closed and estate agents, removal companies and other businesses will be able to continue to operate.

We are experienced in working with our clients remotely and they can continue to expect the same expert advice and excellent client care that our firm’s reputation is built upon.

Our clients always benefit from direct contact with the solicitor or conveyancer working on the file and our team is available via email, phone and video call where required.

The Stamp Duty ‘holiday’ that runs until March 31, 2021, continues to boost both activity and property prices. Prices are growing at their fastest rate in five years, with the average price of a house reaching £227,826 in October, according to Nationwide.

The Bank of England recently reported that mortgage approvals in September were the highest since 2007.

On mortgage holidays, the Government has said: “Mortgage payment holidays will no longer end today.

“Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.”

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