The north-east property market has been given a boost as show homes and house viewings can resume today.
The Scottish Government has updated its guidance on home moves, relaxing restrictions around the housing market under phase two of its route map out of lockdown.
From today, members of the public can visit estate or letting agents, sales offices and show homes, visit a residential property with the intention of buying or renting, move home and visit a property for activities required for the rental or sale of the home.
Firm Aberdein Considine said it had received 3,000 requests for viewings, and expected July to be a record month for property sales.
Michael Sinclair, Senior Property partner at Aberdein Considine, said: “The sudden closure of the Registers of Scotland – where all deeds and mortgage securities are registered – essentially put all transactions on hold in March
“Today’s reopening of the market is going to trigger to trigger a wave of completions and we expect July to be a record month for property sales as all these delayed deals go through.
“Beyond that, we are working through over 3,000 viewing requests which is an indication of the pent-up demand there is in the market.
“One of the biggest shifts in behaviour during lockdown has been the emergence of virtual viewings, which have really been embraced by househunters.
“Since launching them in June, 30,000 people have opened our digital tours – and first seller to use the technology received and accepted an offer for their two-bedroom within 48-hours.”
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
CALA Home’s on-site sales suites will be opening by appointment only today.
It will also be offering virtual guided tours and remote reservations online, to allow people to view properties if they would prefer to do so virtually, as well as secure a property through reservation without having to attend in person.
Fraser Carr, sales and marketing director for CALA Homes (North), said: “We are looking forward to welcoming customers back to our sales offices and helping them in their search for their dream home.
“The safety of our customers, our team and the wider community is absolutely paramount, and we’ve put in place a number of new health and safety measures to ensure their wellbeing, which all of our teams have been extensively briefed on.
“We’ve increased the frequency of cleaning in our sales suites and showhomes and will leave time between each appointment for this to take place. There’ll also be some changes throughout the experience, such as protective screens and hand sanitiser stations, and new signage to help customers navigate the sales areas safely.
“While our sales teams won’t be able to accompany customers around showhomes, customers will be given plenty of time to explore these properties on their own, and our advisors will be on hand before and after to answer any questions.”
Barratt Homes has said customers in the north-east will be able to book physical appointments through its website and inquiry line from today.
It will also continue to offer live video tours for those who cannot or do not wish to visit developments.
All visits to sites or sales offices will be by appointment only, with new signage created to explain social distancing measures that have been put in place.
Regional managing director Doug McLeod said: “We welcome the recent announcement from the First Minister confirming that we can move to the next phase of restart plan.
“Barratt, like many others, has worked hard to establish and roll out strict physical distancing, hygiene and critical behaviour protocols to assure the safety of our site teams and customers.
“We will continue to consult with the Government every step of the way so that we are aligned with its route map through and out of the crisis.”
Meanwhile, Dandara said it was continuing to prepare sites for the re-commencement of construction.
A spokesman for Dandara said: “Preparations for the re-commencement of construction operations at our sites in Scotland are continuing.
“Our focus is always on ensuring the safety and well-being of our teams, and the communities in which we work.
“All construction operations will be undertaken in line with Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland guidelines.”