The latest research by the new-build sales optimisation platform, Unlatch, has revealed how the level of new-build property transactions seen across the market in England and Wales has plummeted having previously shown strong growth prior to the pandemic.
Unlatch analysed property transaction data across England and Wales to find what percentage of total market activity had come via the new-build market over the past five years.
The research shows that at a national level, the market share accounted for by the new-build sector had been slowly growing, up from 11% in 2017 to 12% in 2018 and hitting a peak of 13% in 2019.
However, the outbreak of COVID-19 seems to have stunted this sector growth considerably, with new-build transactions falling to 10% of all market activity in 2020 and then plummeting to just 2% in 2021.
Wales has seen the lowest level of new-build transactions over the last year with the sector accounting for just 1% of all market activity – down from a peak of 8%.
New-build transactions accounted for just 2% of all property sales across the West Midlands, East of England, Yorkshire and the Humber, South West, North East, North West and South East over the last year. A world away from the double-digit market peaks seen prior to the spread of Covid.
In the East Midlands and London, 3% of all transactions came via the new-build market down from respective peaks of 14% and 15% prior to the pandemic.
Lee Martin, Head of UK for Unlatch says: “The new-build market was gaining a great deal of traction prior to the pandemic and the proportion of total transactions coming via the sector was showing steady growth on an annual basis.
However, since the outbreak of COVID-19, this proportion of market activity has declined significantly and new-build homes now account for by far the lowest proportion of total market activity in the last five years.
What we’re currently seeing is the knock-on effect of initial Covid restrictions that stifled housebuilder abilities to actually construct new homes, as well as further hesitations around bringing this stock to market amid fears of declining property values.
The silver lining to this decline is that it has been very much driven by the pandemic and with these restrictions now lifted and these fears put to bed following a property market boom, the expectation is a reversal in fortunes over the coming year and beyond.”