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Property sales have fallen off a cliff – but the worst is yet to come

The economic effects of lockdown are only just starting to show in statistics, and the numbers are only going to drop further

The number of property sales plunged lower than the worst point of the financial crisis after coronavirus shut down the market.

There were just 46,440 residential sales in April 2020, according to HMRC’s latest transaction data. That is roughly half the number completed in March and 53.4pc less than in April 2019. The number is 10pc less than the total number of sales in January 2009, when the housing market hit a low in the wake of the financial crisis.

House Prices Falling - wirral, birkenhead, chester

It is the first time that the effects of the housing market freeze, which was introduced on March 27 and which suspended 450,000 transactions, have begun to filter into the national statistics on a significant scale.

But it is only the tip of the iceberg. Transactions typically take a month or two to complete, and the majority of the sales showing up in the... read more

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