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Welsh housing market lockdown begins to fray at the edges

Agent in Chepstow says local competitors are ignoring the rules and completing both viewings and listings despite the country's ongoing lockdown.

Nigel Lewis

housing market chepstow

A Welsh estate agent is the latest to vent his frustration at local competitors who are flouting the country’s ongoing lockdown and carrying out viewings and listings even though the housing market is closed.

Joe Parry of Fine & Country in the border town of Chepstow says he is reluctant to disregard the rules and instead has been seeking official guidance on whether he is able to cross into England and do business there. Last month we reported on another local agent similarly frustrated by the situation.

“We have tried to do our best to find a resolution, however, there was no guidance from our local MP or the police station,” he says.

“We have PPE and we have COVID-19 policies in place to ensure all parties involved are safe and protected.

“In the absence of any political clarity I phoned our local police station and asked them where we stood, and their response was that it is all up for interpretation and some of the information provided contradicted itself.

Straight answer?

“I asked whether one of our team members would be allowed to cross the border to visit a client, if they lived in Wales and need to visit a client in England, provided of course that all necessary precautions and social distancing measures were in place.

“There was no straight answer, they merely said that if our team member was stopped at the border, the consequences would largely depend on discretion of the police officer that stopped them.

Parry, like thousands of other agent in Wales, is waiting for the next announcement by the country’s First Minister Mark Drakeford on 18th when many hope he will announce a housing market resumption.

“The number of buyers contacting us is growing day by day, wanting to register and wanting to view properties,” says Parry. “We are dealing with many buyers who are frustrated and eager to get moving.”

Parry may be familiar to some readers. Two years ago he and two mates drove a Reliant Robin from Sheffield to Monte Carlo to raise money for charity.

June 5, 2020

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