The UK property market “is grinding to a halt”, as the level of monthly transactions fell by almost a quarter over the last six months, compared to the previous half year, says the House Buyer Bureau.
In the six months to June, an average of 61,651 homes a month were sold across the UK, 23.8% fewer than in the previous six months, according to analysis by the quick-buying housing specialist taken from Land Registry data.
The firm says: “It appears that the market is running out of steam across the board, with every area of the UK market seeing a decline in average monthly sales volumes at a regional level.”
The North East saw the largest fall, with a 32.5% drop in transaction levels, followed by the North West, down 28.3%, and Wales, with a 27.7% slide.
At the local authority level, the drop-off is more pronounced. The Forest of Dean saw just 71 homes sold per month in the period, down 43.1%, compared to the previous six months when 125 sales were completed on average each month. This is followed by Melton, down 42.4% and Wyre, with a 41.1% fall.
However, the London market has been “far more muted during the pandemic property market boom”, which means it has been “less susceptible to the current market slowdown”.
While all other regions have seen a decline of at least 20%, the London market has seen the average number of monthly transactions fall by just 8.4% in the last six months, the report says.
House Buyer Bureau managing director Chris Hodgkinson says: “While there has yet to be any notable decline in topline house prices, we’ve seen previous signs that mortgage approvals were stuttering and we’re now starting to see this translate to a drop in transaction levels.
“This decline is only going to intensify moving forward, as the increased cost of securing a mortgage continues to climb to some of the highest levels seen in years. With more buyers being deterred from entering the market, sellers will start to find that they simply can’t expect to secure the same price as they would have during the dizzying heights of the pandemic market boom.”
“As this pendulum shifts, there’s no doubt that house prices will start to fall and it’s only a matter of time before this decline surfaces.”
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