Almost 77,500 homes have sold across England and Wales so far this year – 58% fewer than the 171,000 sold during the same time period last year.
Analysis of Land Registry data by Nested found the East Midlands and Wales have seen the largest reductions in market activity on a regional level, with a drop of 60% in home sales completed during Q1 of this year versus Q1 2022.
Regionally, the South East has seen the most transactions so far in 2023 at 12,822, albeit this is again some 58% fewer versus last year.
At local authority level, it’s Birmingham where the most homes have sold this year, with 1,070 transactions completed between January and March. Leeds (1,043), North Yorkshire (938), Cornwall (920) and Somerset (876) also make the top five.
However, regardless of total homes sold, every single area of the market across England and Wales has seen a decline in market activity when compared to the same period last year.
At local authority level, North West Leicestershire has seen the largest reduction. Between January and March of last year, 430 homes sold across the area. However, this year, just 118 transactions have been completed – a 73% annual drop.
Harborough (-70%), Anglesey (-70%), North Warwickshire (-69%) and Melton (-69%) also rank among the pockets of the property market to have seen the largest decline in homes sold.
At the other end of the table, Gloucester has seen the smallest reduction in transaction levels, although the number of homes sold has still fallen by 44% year on year.
Alice Bullard, managing director at Nested, commented: “The higher cost of living, increasing interest rates, a disastrous mini-budget and the resulting turbulence seen across the mortgage sector all had a significant impact on buyer demand levels during the closing stages of last year.
“While 2022 may seem a long way away now, what we’re currently seeing is the knock-on effect from this reduction in market activity, with the lower level of sales agreed now reaching completion.
“The good news is that the industry has widely reported an uplift in activity almost immediately in 2023 and so while we’re yet to see this materialise in terms of actual homes sold, we can expect to see an uplift over the coming months as these sales finally reach the finish line.”