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Research from eXp UK, the network of personal estate agents, reveals that reduced homebuyer activity has led to a -30.5% drop in UK house sales, and that one Scottish city is the only place to report an increase in transactions.

Following the house buying boom, kick-started by the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK’s market has started to cool as buyers act with caution in the face of recent widespread economic uncertainty.

Over the last 12 months, there have been 843,600 sales transactions completed across the UK. This marks a drop of -30.5% compared to the 12 months previous during which there were 1.2 million sales.

A regional analysis of the UK market shows that each and every corner of the land has seen a decline in sales, nowhere more so than the East of England where the annual figure has dropped by -37.3%, from 125,808 to 78,887.

In the South East, sales have dropped by -37.2%, closely followed by the South West with a -37.1% decline.

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The drop in transactions has also been significant in London (-35.3%), the East Midlands (-31.9%), West Midlands (-30.8%), Yorkshire & Humber (-29.7%), North West (-28.3%), North East (-23.6%), Northern Ireland (-22.5%), and Wales (-19.6%).

The smallest drop has been seen in Scotland where a decline from 121,544 transactions to 105,465 marks an annual drop of -13.2%.

After a hyper-local analysis, eXp discovered that Maldon, Essex, has reported the nation’s biggest annual drop in sales at -49.4%.

Uttlesford, also in Essex, reported a transaction decline of -48.3%, while Harborough, Leicestershire, recorded a -47.4% decline.

Meanwhile, the smallest decline in sales transactions have been seen in East Ayrshire (-8.8%), Blackpool (-4.8%), and Clackmannanshire (-4.2%).

However, there is one UK location that has bucked this wider trend to see an uplift in transactions.

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The City of Aberdeen is the only place in the UK to report an increase in sales over the last 12 months, with numbers rising by 4.1%.

Head of eXp UK, Adam Day, commented: “The UK’s housing market has cooled slightly in the past year. Buyers have been cautious in the face of economic uncertainty, and this has understandably contributed to a decline in the number of homes sold.

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“But it’s also important to note that there was an incredible surge in market activity during the peak of the pandemic and so while this decline in transactions may seem drastic, it’s really a return to normality.

“There remains a strong level of buyer activity across the market and house prices have not tumbled in the way many predicted they would. The current outlook for the market is also far brighter than it was just a few months ago and so those predicting a property market crash are likely to be disappointed come the end of the year.”

By Alice Cumming

Source: Business Leader

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