Viewing, buying and selling property in local lockdown areas

The government has set out a number of restrictions in local lockdown areas across the UK. How will the rules affect housing markets in these locations?

At present, the housing market is moving apace despite the restrictions created by COVID-19. Transaction levels are booming, as the sector has found ways to continue with property sales while adhering to government rules.

While the UK-wide lockdown eased up several months ago, certain areas are subject to local lockdowns. This includes many parts of the north-west, such as Greater Manchester, as well as the north-east and areas in the Midlands.

According to latest figures, as the UK braces for a second wave, more local lockdowns could come into effect. This could begin to include parts of London and the south of England. In these areas, some of the measures include curfews on hospitality venues, closures of certain businesses, and restrictions on who you can meet. Now that the guidelines have become law, police can issue fines to those who breach local and national rules.

Will lockdown affect buying and selling property?

While there was a short-term lull in the market as everyone in the industry got to grips with new rules, things are largely back on track now. Estate agents and letting agents have enabled digital and virtual viewings to go ahead across much of the country. Similarly, solicitors and conveyancers have made efforts to conduct their work remotely where possible.

The government has published a set of national guidance available on its website for those buying, selling and moving. However, in light of new local lockdown restrictions, people are urged to check on the individual rules for that area.

All areas under local lockdown have a list of exceptional circumstances where people can continue activities despite restrictions. In most cases, facilitating a house move is included in this. This means that, for most property purchases, including new-build developments, transactions and moves can largely progress as normal.

What about the private rented sector?

The private rented sector has also remained resilient over the past six months. Tenant demand is high, while buy-to-let buyers are keen to push ahead while the market is active.

One of the biggest changes affecting the private rented sector right now is tenant evictions. New rules mean landlords must now give tenants six months’ notice to repossess their properties. However, the courts are now open again to hear the most urgent cases. This includes where there has been significant antisocial behaviour or domestic abuse issues, among other things.

In terms of starting new tenancy agreements and viewings, like in the rest of the housing sector, people have adapted to new methods. Virtual viewings are available on many rental properties, and much of the process with landlords and agents doesn’t require face-to-face contact. Even check-ins can now be automated, with key drop-off points.

Thanks to technology advancements, much of the property management process can also be done remotely. There are numerous apps available for landlords and tenants to use.

Self-certified Sophisticated Investor

Please read

I declare that I am a self-certified sophisticated investor for the purposes of the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. I understand that this means:

I am a self-certified sophisticated investor because at least one of the following applies:

I accept that the investments to which the promotions will relate may expose me to a significant risk of losing all of the money or other property invested. I am aware that it is open to me seek advice from someone who specialises in advising on non-mainstream pooled investments.

High Net Worth Investor

Please read

I make this statement so that I can receive promotional communications which are exempt from the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. The exemption relates to certified high net worth investors and I declare that I qualify as such because at least one of the following applies to me:


Sign up for first access to new developments and exclusive property investment opportunities.

We send limited and targeted emails on new launches and exclusive deals which best fit your areas. We are trusted by over 30,000 active buyers as their source for new stock.

  • New property developments
  • Professional market reports
  • Property deal alerts
  • Development updates
Manchester property investment


Receive trending news straight to your inbox and stay up to date on all of the property market trends and advice.

Established since 2005 we are a leading voice of authority and commentary on the UK property market. Our news is trusted by Apple News & Google News.

  • UK housing market
  • Mortgage & money
  • Buy-to-let landlords
  • Guides & advice

Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today:


+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT


+852 6699 9008

Open from 9am-6pm HKT