A report carried out by WeBuyAnyHome has found that house sale enquiries have fallen dramatically since the start of the pandemic.
Economic turbulence combined with the logistical difficulties of moving house in 2020 has seen UK house sales enquiries decrease by an average of 32 per cent. In Scotland, that figure was 48 per cent in the second quarter of the year.
January and February started strongly, with increases in both sale and price growth across the UK. Even prime central London homes were on the up after five years of declining prices, with Kensington & Chelsea prices having dropped 2.5 per cent in the five years to February 2020 and Westminster down 0.4 per cent.
House sales enquiries by region
In the North, enquiries in Lancashire fell by 38.4 per cent in comparison to last year, while in North Yorkshire they were down 39.2 per cent.
London has fared better than elsewhere, dropping 14.2 per cent. Essex and Kent have struggled, with enquiries down 32.7 per cent and 25.5 per cent respectively.
Comparing the period January to May 2020 with the same months of 2019, the locations with the biggest decrease were Dundee and Tyrone, where enquiries were wiped out.
Northumberland fell by 56.64 per cent and in Norfolk by 51.46 per cent.
Overall, figures for Scotland were down 12.9 per cent, although some localised areas showed more promise. Clackmannanshire was up by 112.5 per cent, while Edinburgh was up by 27.27 per cent.
The Isle of Wight was the only English area in the top eight, with an increase of 21.21 per cent.
House sellers by demographic
The study also looked at which individuals or families were selling.
On the increase were affluent families and crossroads older families, both up 33 per cent and middle of the road families, up 24 per cent.
Affluent early stage families selling up were down 48 per cent, followed by supported families down 42 per cent and well off adults, down 27 per cent.
As estate agents struggle after months of poor sales, they do not expect to make up the losses in 2021. Although prices have grown strongly since the end of the first period of lockdown, with the average property price in the UK up £15,000 since June, to £253,000, neither agents nor lenders are optimistic.
With the effects of Brexit still uncertain and ongoing economic difficulties in many sectors, plus the end of the Stamp Duty holiday, there are still troubles to overcome.
If people miss the Stamp Duty deadline or the jobs market deteriorates, they may decide to pull out of previously agreed deals.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a property and you would like to speak to one of our expert lawyers, contact us on 0345 2413100 or email us at email@example.com.