The property market has enjoyed a strong rebound since the UK's 3-month, nationwide lockdown earlier this year; but as we enter the Winter season there are new measures in place to contain the spread of COVID-19 and we all need to do our bit to help.

Under the government’s most recent advice, estate agents remain open and physical property viewings are still allowed across England, with a strict bookings process in place and comprehensive advice on how to follow social distancing guidelines inside properties.

While the latest lockdown measures may make viewing properties more difficult in some areas, they are unlikely to dent the current high level of interest from potential buyers. The stamp duty holiday continues until 31 March 2021 and many people have carried out a once-in-a-lifetime evaluation of their living situations, resulting in the upward trend of property sales we have experienced since May.

So, how will the new three-tier system affect your move?

Tier 1 - Medium Alert

In tier one areas all businesses and venues can continue to operate in a COVID-secure way, other than those that are currently closed by law, such as nightclubs.

Schools, universities and places of worship can remain open, and indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place. People must not meet in groups of more than six either indoors or outdoors.

Property viewings can continue to take place as long as anti-coronavirus measures are taken and there are no more than six people are in the property at one time.

Such measures include the wearing of face coverings, regular hand washing, keeping doors and windows open for good ventilation during the viewing, and only two prospective buyers from the same household entering the property at a time. View our COVID viewing procedures.

Open house viewings are not allowed at this time.

If any member of either the household being viewed, or the household viewing, shows symptoms of Covid-19 or is self-isolating, then an in-person viewing should be delayed.

At the time of publishing, West Sussex falls in to this tier.

Tier 2 - High Alert

Anyone living in a tier two area must follow all of the tier one rules, and also not meet with anybody outside of their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, including their home or a public place.

However, the current government advice states that in-person property viewings can still take place, with appropriate precautions. So if a viewer is travelling to Worthing from a tier-two area, they will still be able to attend viewings in person. For the latest government advice in full check here.

If you wish to discuss what precautionary measures we have in place and how we plan on keeping our viewers, clients and staff safe, please contact us.

Check which tier your area falls in to here.

Tier 3 – Very High Alert

Tier 3 - Very High Alert

Tier three is reserved for areas where transmission rates of Covid-19 are causing the greatest concern.

People living in these areas are not allowed to meet anybody outside of their household or support bubble in an indoor or outdoor setting, apart from open public spaces such as parks and beaches, where the rule of six will still apply.

People are also advised not to travel in and out of these areas, other than for work, education, accessing youth services or caring responsibilities.

Restrictions in this tier are likely to have the biggest impact on the property market, although government guidelines don’t currently state that in-person viewings are banned in tier three regions. 

Due to the advised travel ban for tier-three regions, it is unlikely that any viewers from these locations will be viewing properties outside of their immediate area. Should West Sussex move to tier three at any time, we will have revised risk assessments and procedures in place to manage this appropriately.

Check which tier your area falls in to here.

If you have any questions about how COVID may impact your move, get in touch with your local branch.

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