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Northern Ireland is first country to re-open after England, but will Wales and Scotland follow?

ARLA Propertymark has been notified and is hoping that Scotland and Wales follow suit next week, when their First Ministers are scheduled to make COVID announcements.

Nigel Lewis

The Northern Ireland housing market is to be re-opened on Monday, it has been revealed.

When Coronavirus struck, its government introduced very similar Coronavirus lockdown rules for its estate agents to England, stipulating that house moves could only take place unless “absolutely necessary”.

“The real estate industry has the highest multiplier effect in the economy and I’m therefore pleased to announce that our Coronavirus Regulations will be amended to permit house moves for the sale of homes from Monday 15 June,” Arlene Foster has just announced.

“This will incorporate the full end-to-end process from viewing to securing a mortgage and the house move itself. Guidance has been provided on all aspects of the house moving process and the Department for Communities plan to engage further with stakeholders.”

Karly Greene, head researcher at the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, says: “We would very much hope that a measured easing of the current restrictions will allow Northern Ireland’s economy – including the housing market – to re-open and recover in a safe and sustainable way.

“But it will likely be some time before we have a true sense of what recent events mean for house prices and the residential property market.”

Northern Ireland will be the first of the remaining UK nations in lockdown to allow house moves again after England’s re-start four weeks ago.

Wales is likely to be the next to re-open when its First Minister Mark Drakeford makes his next Covid announcement on June 18th and then, many are hoping, Scotland will follow suit on the same day when its First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is also set to make her next Covid speech. Propertymark says it is lobbying both government to follow Northern Ireland’s example.

June 11, 2020

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