Secretary of State for Housing Robert Jenrick has made the highly unusual move of penning a column for a property portal in which he reveals that the government always intended to make property the first industry to be allowed back to work.
His comments within the 450 word column, which was published late last night by Zoopla, are designed to reassure agents that they remain at the heart of the government’s plan to get the economy moving again.
“We all need to work together safely as we rebuild our economy and restore livelihoods, starting with the housing market. If we do this together, we will recover from this crisis,” says Robert Jenrick.
“I am grateful to everyone who has been carefully preparing to return to work over recent weeks.
“Each of the building blocks of the buying and selling process are now back in business. The foundation for this is our new guidance on moving home while staying safe, including keeping a two-metre distance.
“Estate agents, conveyancers and removal firms can also reopen if they follow social distancing guidelines. This is aided by our guidance for people working in homes, including fitters, so they can support home moving while reducing the risk of infection.”
The Secretary of State’s missive is a PR coup for Zoopla, as housing ministers have in the past have usually only made appeals directly to the property industry via headline speeches at the sector’s major conferences.
It may also put noses out of joint at Rightmove, which is one of the UK’s most successful publicly-listed companies and a member of the FTSE-100.