• Watch the full report from ITV News West Country reporter, Bob Cruwys

The Government is urging people to delay plans to move house during the coronavirus epidemic.

It is encouraging people to amicably agree alternative dates to move in future, if possible.

It has been difficult for removal companies to follow the Government restrictions, to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, while still honouring agreements with their customers who want to move house.

Alex Wotton, Director of Wotton of Tiverton, says it's been impossible to balance those two things and that they have had to call a halt to their operation.

Wotton of Tivertons says moving home whilst adhering to new guidelines is impossible. Credit: ITV News

The physical act of moving home cannot be done in accordance with the guidelines set out by the government so on that basis we have had to cancel all forthcoming moves. Our team have been brilliant but at the end of the day now we can't ask any more of them and they are safe at home with their families now and our clients are safe in their homes. Some of them might not be in the homes they want to be in because they want to be in their new properties but, at the end of the day, they are safe where they are.

Alex Wotton, Wotton of Tiverton
Sales could plummet this year as a result of the pandemic. Credit: ITV News

Analysts at Zoopla have warned that house sales could fall by as much as 80% during some spring months this year compared with the same period in 2019.

At the moment we're advising buyers and sellers to contact their solicitors to attempt to delay the sales and although it is a legally binding document it is possible to vary the length of the contract, as long as both parties agree to do so.

Joseph Trethewey, Director, At Home Property
There are some exceptions which mean some people can still move homes. Credit: ITV News

Helen Snowdon from Gloucestershire has been trying to move into a new rented home but has had to put her plans on hold, with half of her belongings already at the new property.

It was all going to plan so I signed the agreement to move in. It's just frustrating because I've been wanting to move out of my parents' and then I did but now I'm still at my parents' and I just want to be out in my new place.

Helen Snowdon

Sales which may still go through in the coming weeks include probate sales of empty properties, and some buy-to-let purchases by landlords.

Critical house moves, where no alternative date can be agreed, may also proceed.