On 31st October, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new one-month lockdown for England, beginning on 5th November and ending on 2nd December.

What will remain open?

  • The property industry
  • Schools, colleges, universities, childminders and nurseries
  • Playgrounds and parks
  • Click and collect and essential shops such as supermarkets
  • Churches will remain open for private prayer
  • Premier League football matches will continue

What will close?

  • After-school clubs and sports clubs
  • Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues
  • Bars, pubs and restaurants except for delivery or take-away services.
  • Hairdressers and beauty salons
  • Gyms, golf courses, swimming pools

What travel is permitted?

  • People can leave their homes only for specific reasons such as education, work if they cannot work from home, for exercise and recreation with their own household, or on their own with one person from another household (a ‘one plus one’ rule)
  • People can also leave home to shop for food and essentials and to provide care for vulnerable people or as a volunteer
  • Attending medical appointments is permitted
  • People are advised not to travel unless for essential reasons, such as travel for work
  • Children can move between the homes of their parents if their parents are separated

The Impact of Lockdown on the London Property Market

On Sunday evening, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed that the housing market will remain open. In particular, the Government has made it clear that:

  • People can still move house, both buying and renting
  • Valuations and physical property inspections will continue
  • Tradespeople can enter people’s homes
  • Construction sites can and should continue

London Investments: Business as usual

All our Credit operations continue as usual as we are already experiencing high levels of demand from borrowers because of the high level of property transactions taking place due to the government’s Stamp Duty holiday, which is due to end on 31 March 2021. Our associates (valuers, solicitors etc) will continue to operate as normal.  

All our real estate investment operations continue.  We are preparing two development/refurbishment projects and the entire professional teams continue to be available.  We are working closely with our property managers to ensure that rents and service charges are collected, and concessions monitored.  We are tracking the investment market as the lockdown may provide interesting and opportunistic acquisitions, with many of our competitors unable or unwilling to make buying decisions.

Our London credit and real estate staff are fully contactable and equipped to work from home and will make regular visits to our London headquarters throughout the lockdown.