Property News - Average monthly property sales still lag pre-Covid market despite Stamp Duty holiday



Posted on Thursday, December 2, 2021

The latest research by Birmingham estate and lettings agent, Barrows and Forrester, has found that despite the strong level of market activity seen in recent times, the average monthly number of property sales completing across Britain is still some -15.4% lower when compared to pre-Covid performance levels. 

The analysis of property transaction data shows that across Britain, an average of 83,778 transactions completed per month between 2016 and 2019. However, since the start of 2020, this has fallen to an average of 70,856 transactions per month - a -15.4% drop. 

This difference is at its greatest across Wales, where average monthly transaction levels since the start of 2020 have sat -23.8% below pre-pandemic levels. 

The West Midlands has also seen one of the biggest declines, with -22.1% fewer property sales per month, followed by the East Midlands (-21.3%), North West (-19.4%) and North East (-3.7%). 

Scotland has seen the market bounce back to pre-pandemic levels to the greatest extent. Across the nation, 8,265 property sales have taken place per month since the start of 2020, just -2.1% below the levels seen prior to the pandemic. The South East (-11.1%) and London (-12.8%) are also home to levels of current market activity closest to that seen prior to 2020. 

The market is, however, heading in the right direction. All but one area of Britain has seen an increase in the average number of monthly transactions when comparing 2020 and 2021. Just the North East has failed to bounce back from the slump in market activity seen during 2020, when the government placed the property market into deep freeze between 27th March and 12th May. 

While positive, even when comparing the average monthly transactions in 2021 alone, almost every area of Britain still sits below pre-2020 averages. Just Scotland has seen a greater number of property sales per month in 2021 (9,221) when compared to pre-pandemic levels (8,439). 

Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented:

“There’s no denying that the property market is in very good health at present and a world away from the widespread doom and gloom predictions that many were quick to make during the first half of 2020. 

But despite the overwhelming levels of demand spurred by the introduction of the stamp duty holiday, we’re yet to see a full return to form where transaction levels are concerned. 

That said, we’ve had to overcome a myriad of obstacles during the pandemic. An early industry lockdown that saw the market grind to a half for over a month, the requirement to work from home followed by new Covid protocols while in the workplace and the addition of lengthy market delays at the back end of the transaction process, which caused transactions to drag out for a considerably longer period of time.

All of these factors have proved problematic. So while there is still some work to do, the outlook is extremely positive and not discounting the current threat of the Omicron variant, we transaction levels should return to pre-Covid levels in 2022.”

Average monthly transactions sourced from Gov.uk - UK House Price Index

 

Table shows the average number of monthly transactions pre-Covid (2016 to 2019) versus since (2020 to 2021)

Location

Average monthly transactions (2016 - 2019)

Average monthly transactions (2020 - 2021)

Difference (%)

Wales

3,973

3,028

-23.8%

West Midlands Region

7,192

5,605

-22.1%

East Midlands

6,746

5,308

-21.3%

North West

9,626

7,762

-19.4%

North East

3,294

2,673

-18.8%

Yorkshire and The Humber

7,112

5,809

-18.3%

South West

8,542

7,094

-17.0%

East of England

8,531

7,339

-14.0%

London

7,832

6,827

-12.8%

South East

12,456

11,079

-11.1%

Scotland

8,439

8,265

-2.1%

England

71,355

59,550

-16.5%

Great Britain

83,778

70,856

-15.4%

       

Table shows the average number of monthly transactions in 2020 versus 2021

Location

Average monthly transactions (2020)

Average monthly transactions (2021)

Difference (%)

Scotland

7,407

9,221

24.5%

South East

9,996

12,280

22.8%

London

6,162

7,565

22.8%

East of England

6,763

7,965

17.8%

South West

6,631

7,589

14.4%

Wales

2,948

3,111

5.5%

West Midlands Region

5,476

5,737

4.8%

East Midlands

5,225

5,392

3.2%

Yorkshire and The Humber

5,760

5,859

1.7%

North West

7,711

7,813

1.3%

North East

2,725

2,623

-3.7%

England

56,448

62,823

11.3%

Great Britain

66,803

75,156

12.5%

       

Table shows the average number of monthly transactions pre-Covid (2016 to 2019) versus 2021 only

Location

Average monthly transactions (2016 - 2019)

Average monthly transactions (2021)

Difference (%)

Wales

3,973

3,111

-21.7%

North East

3,294

2,623

-20.4%

West Midlands Region

7,192

5,737

-20.2%

East Midlands

6,746

5,392

-20.1%

North West

9,626

7,813

-18.8%

Yorkshire and The Humber

7,112

5,859

-17.6%

South West

8,542

7,589

-11.2%

East of England

8,531

7,965

-6.6%

London

7,832

7,565

-3.4%

South East

12,456

12,280

-1.4%

Scotland

8,439

9,221

9.3%

England

71,355

62,823

-12.0%

Great Britain

83,778

75,156

-10.3%






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