The housing market in Wales partially re-opened on the 22nd of June, with strict guidelines on what agents and people could, and couldn’t do. Home moves were given the green light to take place, but only if the residential property had been empty for at least 72 hours.
The marketing and viewing of unoccupied property is allowed to take place, and sales that have been agreed but not yet completed are now able to be concluded.
It is helpful to familiarise yourself with the guidelines on moving home, and more information can be found on the Government’s website, available here. The guidelines also cover the use of removal companies, a key component of many property moves.
Moves can take place once again in Wales
Mark Drakeford is the First Minister of Wales, and he spoke about the housing market re-opening. Mark said; “The threat of coronavirus hasn’t gone away but thanks to the efforts we have all made over the last few months, the number of people contracting coronavirus each day in Wales is falling, so too is the risk of meeting somebody with virus.”
Mark continued by saying; “Given the progress we have made; we are able to take some additional cautious steps to further unlock our society and economy. This includes more retailers being able re-open their businesses, as long as they take measures to minimise the risk to their staff and to the customers who visit their stores.”
The First Minister also said; “Our focus continues to be on the health risks of the outbreak, but we can now begin to cautiously focus much more squarely on the wider economic and societal impact the virus is having. We have provided a huge amount of support to businesses and jobs as they hibernated during the pandemic – now we start to take these careful steps to restart our economy.”
Mark Hayward is the Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark and David Cox is the Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark. They put their names to a joint statement, which read; “We welcome today’s announcement reopening the housing market in Wales. However, the guidance issued will have a greater impact on the sales market as there still are some significant restrictions in place meaning the market will not be able to fully open.”
More changes need to be implemented
While it is pleasing to see the partial reintroduction of the housing market, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure the market moves forward. There also needs to be clarity of whether Wales will follow the approach of the English market when it comes to the stamp duty holiday.
In Wales, the Land Transaction Tax is in place and as of yet, there has been no announcement as to whether there will be a Land Transaction Tax holiday in Wales. There have been calls for a similar scheme to be implemented in Wales.
Darren Miller is a Member of the Senedd for Clwyd West, and he spoke to BBC Wales, saying; “What we really need now from the Welsh Government is for them to pick up the ball in terms of reducing our Land Transaction Tax in order that we can mirror some of the changes to the stamp duty holidays which were announced yesterday which will apply in England.”
Rebecca Evens, the Welsh Government’s Finance Minister has also spoken on this matter, saying; “We are actively considering what the SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) changes mean for our tax rates aligned with our plans to reopen the housing market. We will continue to deliver tax policy that is made in Wales that is appropriate for the economic recovery.”
At Hunters Bridgend, we are proud to play a part in supporting a thriving and friendly local community. If you would like information or guidance on how we can assist you, or you just want to stay in touch with the latest housing industry news, please contact us today.