The latest research from estate agent, Barrows and Forrester, has revealed that property transactions in England have fallen by -71% since lockdown was implemented back at the end of March.
Barrows and Forrester analysed the latest transaction data from the Land Registry looking at the number of property sales that completed over the first three months of the year and the three months since the implementation of lockdown (January 2020 to 22nd March vs 23rd March to June 2020, the latest data available).
While the reopening of the housing market and the stamp duty holiday that swiftly followed have caused a tidal wave of buyer demand to return to the property market, this demand is yet to translate to completed transactions.
The data shows that across England, the number of transactions fell by -71% in the three months following lockdown. At the same time, the average sold price secured by home sellers has also decreased since lockdown, although this reduction has been more marginal at just -2%.
Yorkshire and the Humber has been the worst-hit region, with the number of transactions declining by -73% since lockdown.
The North West has seen the second-largest decline with transactions down -72%, with the East Midlands, North East, West Midlands and South West also seeing a drop of -71%.
London saw the lowest decline, although at -68%, this is still a dramatic decline in the number of property sales completing.
The capital has also fared the best where sold prices are concerned. In the three months following lockdown, the average sold price across London has increased 2%, the only region to see an uplift.
With a decline of -5%, the South West and North West have seen the most significant reductions in sold prices.
Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester said, “Only now are we starting to get an idea of how the current pandemic is impacting the market due to the lagged nature of reporting where transactions are concerned.
“A rather dramatic decline in transactions was always on the cards given that many agents, buyers and sellers would have had their hands tied and unable to transact during the first month or so of lockdown.
“When you couple this with the reduced staff levels and the other operational restrictions that many have faced since reopening, there was always going to be a prolonged period of muted activity.
“The silver lining is those that have been transacting aren’t seeing a massive impact on the sold price achieved despite the broader economic landscape.
“In addition, buyers have been flooding back to the market at a record pace of late. While we’re yet to see this filter through to actual sales, the market is alive and well and this bodes very well for the months ahead.
“We’re also already in a dramatically different place now than we were back in June and so we should see these green shoots of transaction growth start to fully blossom as current sales begin to complete over the coming months.”