A new housing market report from WeBuyAnyHome analyses the effects of Covid-19 on house sales enquiries across the UK, indicating that a potential decline in some areas may be on the rise.
The research compared sales enquiry figures from January to September 2019, and during the same period in 2020. The updated data also analyses the industry’s shift in demand during the pandemic by comparing figures from Q1 to Q2 2020.
The full study can be accessed here as an interactive tool and also looks at the correlation between home sales figures and the amount of positive Covid-19 cases registered in the area, as well as factors such as seller demographics across regions, analysing the most common type of sellers in each location before and during the pandemic.
Changes in housing sales enquiries
The Coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly brought uncertainty to the global economy, and this study begins to clarify the impact the coronavirus has had and may continue to have on the UK property market.
Once the stamp duty holiday comes to an end, coupled with recent national lockdown measures and an extended furlough scheme that may further impact unemployment rates, figures are expected to fluctuate significantly in the coming months.
The data shows that UK house sales demand decreased by 32% on average. Northern Ireland was the most affected region, with a sharp decrease of nearly 77%, followed by Wales and England (36% and 32% fewer house sales enquiries, compared to last year figures, respectively).
With a 22% decrease in house sales demand compared to last year, and the only UK regions with an increase in house sales enquiries located in Scotland, the Scottish property market shows more hopeful projections than the rest of the nation.
While Scotland is the only location to see an increase in house sales enquiries, the country as a whole had the biggest drop in house sales demand during Q2 2020: a decrease of 48.21%.
England and Wales also saw a decrease during the pandemic (-38.12% and -36.36%, respectively), and Northern Ireland was the only country that had an increase on house sales demand in the second quarter of the year, with 12% more enquiries.
Changes in house seller demographics
As unemployment rises and the prospect of more redundancies looms, those most financially impacted by the pandemic may be pushed to sell their homes. The study analysed how the broader economic impact of the pandemic may be reflected in the demographics of sellers.
By comparing the most common type of sellers in 2019 to 2020, the data shows that in the UK, ‘Elite Pensioners’ and ‘Making Do Pensioners’ house sales enquiries decreased the most (69% and 65% respectively). On the opposite side, the least affected by the pandemic were: ‘Middle Of The Road Families’ and ‘Affluent Establishing Families’.
Mark Irwin, Marketing Director at WeBuyAnyHome said, “The property market, like the global economy, has gone through unprecedented changes in 2020, and the truth is that no one can be exactly sure what will happen next. We decided to examine our own data and create a proprietary tool to better predict some of the trends within the housing market; the findings indicated which parts of the UK will be most impacted by the economy’s struggles in the last year—and who is set to recover best.
“By interpreting these figures and factoring in increasingly stringent COVID-19 protections, we expect the current “bubble” we’re seeing to continue into early 2021, followed by a dip of up to 20% if the economy worsens; we anticipate lower value properties that don’t benefit from the stamp duty reduction to be more acutely impacted, especially as they tend to belong to lower-income residents who may be more susceptible to job losses and need to sell as a result.”