New Listings Down 82 Per Cent

Recent figures suggest that new listings were 82 per cent down last week when compared with the week before lockdown.

The data, released by Housevault, found 1,695 properties listed for sale over the past seven days in spite of governmental advice to delay home moves.

The data also suggests there were 3,293 UK sales in the past seven days which equated to a drop in sales of 75.42 per cent.

Twentici suggest that conservative and anxious stakeholders could create a buyers market as reduced confidence causes more aborted transactions. In turn, this could lead to a downturn in property prices.

Already, in the two week’s since the government issued social distancing measures, twentyci’s client briefing has seen UK wide property prices fall by 5.8 per cent from the 2019 median new instruction asking price average of £255,000 to £240,000 by the end of last week.

In London, prices have plummeted by a quarter to £400,000 from the 2019 median average of £500,000.

Ian Lancaster, CEO of Twentci, commented:

“We can’t of course be certain of the ongoing impact on asking prices, but it is more likely than not, in our view, that this trend will continue as short-term demand drops rapidly because of the inability for a buyer to operate normally with physical viewings.

“In addition, we can’t be sure of the impact on actual transfer prices yet, but in a market which is no longer turning over properties at anything like the rate it was just a few weeks ago, this has to be a clear indication of a buyers’ market and as such we should expect prices to fall further still for the foreseeable future.

“The fear as we enter a ‘V’ or ‘U’ shaped recession is a marked downturn in property prices as consumers pull back from major financial commitments. This is probably the most significant factor facing the real estate industry as existing mid-flight transactions fall apart and new transactions are at lower levels due to pricing concerns.”

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said:

“The UK housing market began March with similar trends to previous months, as key market indicators showed a sustained level of buyer and seller activity. Overall average house prices in the month were little changed from February’s record high, while annual growth nudged up to 3%.

“These factors all underlined a positive trajectory and increased momentum in the early part of the year, with confidence rising as political and economic uncertainty eased. However, it’s clear we ended the month in very different territory as a result of the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“On a practical level, most market activity has been paused, with the public rightly following advice to stay at home, and estate agencies, surveyors and conveyancers temporarily closing as a result. With viewings cancelled and movers being encouraged to put transactions on hold, activity will inevitably fall sharply in the coming months. It should be noted that with less data available, calculating average house prices is likely to become more challenging in the short-term.

“However, it’s still too early to properly assess what potential long-term impacts the current lockdown might have on the UK housing market. While there is very significant uncertainty at the moment, much will depend on the length of time it takes for restrictions to be lifted, the pressure that has been exerted on the economy in the meantime and the effect this has on consumer sentiment.

“Lenders have stepped up to offer their support, giving customers up to an additional three months to complete their home purchase at the agreed mortgage rate, alongside payment holidays for existing customers. We continue to have confidence in the fundamental strength of the housing market and remain ready and willing to lend on new mortgages, as well as product transfers and further advances, wherever and whenever there is demand.”


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