The U.K. housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, made the unusual move of publishing a public announcement on a private real estate portal. In a post on Zoopla, the No. 2 real estate vertical in the U.K. by traffic, Jenrick detailed the government’s plan for restarting homebuilding and property sales after the current lockdown order is lifted.

Last week, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government published a speech made by Jenrick outlining how U.K. business can begin to reopen, including real estate agents. The following day, Jenrick wrote a blog post, published exclusively on Zoopla, explaining how property transactions and homebuilding can restart safely with social distancing rules remaining in place.

The property sector will be one of the first to reopen after restrictions are relaxed, according to Jenrick. Since March, over 450,000 buyers and renters have been unable to complete sales or make moving plans.

“Each of the building blocks of the buying and selling process are now back in business,” said Jenrick.

When approached for comment by AIM Group, Zoopla said it could not answer on the government’s behalf as to why it was selected to publish the post, but admitted they were “delighted with the blog.”

Usually, announcements to the property industry are made at industry conferences or within budget announcements.

Rightmove, the largest U.K. property portal, may be wondering why its portal wasn’t chosen to publish the announcement. Since the pandemic began, Zoopla and Rightmove have offered agents different options for agents on discounts and new offers. Rightmove has faced a backlash from agents over its pricing, leading Zoopla to offer agents nine months free on new contracts.

Rightmove said it put out an announcement to its four million newsletter subscribers announcing the reopening of the U.K. property market, as well as providing crucial information for buyers and sellers.

“We’ve been in discussions with MHCLG over the past few weeks about what the guidance was going to look like and published it as soon as it was released,” a spokesperson from Rightmove said.

On Saturday, Rightmove took the unusual step of publishing its latest monthly housing market summary on Saturday, instead of Monday, in absence of any meaningful market data from April. In the summary, the company assessed how new buyer requirements are likely to change in the wake of Covid-19.

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