Property sales fall in England and Wales

Property sales have fallen in 64.4% of local authority areas in England and Wales, shows a new analysis of data from the Land Registry

Property sales have fallen in 64.4% of local authority areas in England and Wales, according to a new analysis of data from the Land Registry.

The average drop in sales has been 4.9% in 2018 but some locations have seen much more significant falls in transactions, the study from Project Etopia shows.

A total of 122 areas have seen transactions fall by more than 5%, while 41 local authorities saw sales drop by more than 10% and 11 areas more than 15%.

The highest fall in sales was in Stevenage where transactions dropped by 27.5%, followed by a fall of 16.2% in Newcastle-under-Lyme, a drop of 16% in Cambridge, 15.1% in Merthyr Tydfil and 13.7% in Wellingborough.

There was also a significant fall of 13.3% in Brighton, a drop of 12.3% in Gosport, 12% in Runnymede, 11.8% in Bedford and 11.6% in Eastbourne.

The biggest falls in Greater London was in the borough of Tower Hamlets, seeing a 22.5% drop in transactions, while the borough of Croydon was down by 15.4%.

The data also shows where sales have improved and the biggest was in the City of London with a rise of 66% but this was starting from a low base and involved only 146 properties changed hands in eight months.

The best performing location outside London was Chorley where sales increased by 17%, followed by a rise of 13.9% in Hull, a rise of 12.3% in Lincoln, while sales in Liverpool were up by 10.8%.

Other places to see positive sales growth included Rochdale up by 9.4%, Worcester up 8.4%, Carlisle up 8.2%, Tewkesbury up 7.8%, Mansfield up 7.4% and Stafford up 7.1%.

Chief executive officer of Project Etopia, Joseph Daniels said it might not be immediately obvious what transaction levels have to do with the housing crisis, but the answer is a great deal. Lack of housing stock means there is a merry-go-round of gyrating house prices in this country.

He added that this feeds into massive price gains that occur over just a few years, causing people to think of their house as an investment not a home. It’s easy to forget that there were 231,690 fewer homes sold in the last financial year than a decade earlier.

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