Figures released by HMRC have revealed that the pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures imposed by the government caused a widely expected slump in April’s property transactions.
According to the data, residential property transactions during April this year were 53.4% lower than April 2019 and 46.1% lower than March 2020.
Jamie Johnson, CEO of FJP Investment said HMRC “figures should come as no surprise – a decline in transactions was inevitable. Property buyers and sellers should not be concerned: UK real estate remains a secure and stable asset class that is likely to deliver long-term growth.
“Transactions have, of course, stalled as a direct consequence of COVID-19. Buyers are not retreating from the market – they are waiting to act once COVID-19 has been resolved. We know there is pent-up demand for real estate. That’s why I’m confident the market will bounce back over the coming months as social distancing measures are relaxed.”
John Phillips, national operations director at Just Mortgages said, “It comes as no surprise to see that property transactions have basically been cut in half since the onset of Covid-19 – down 46% on March’s numbers and more than 50% on this time last year. But seeing these figures in black and white really does bring home the scale of the impact.
“In recent weeks we have started to see the sector returning to work and the early evidence is that activity is rapidly rising again. Just as with Brexit, people are fed up with having their lives put on hold and now the restrictions on movement are being eased, I believe we will see many people anxious to get on with long-planned house moves.
“As people have got used to remote working, there may even be a boost with more people looking to up sticks and live further away from their usual place of work.
“There is still a long way to go before this crisis is over but I’m confident that we are through the worst.”