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Property Market Slump: England and Wales Witness Substantial Dip in Sales

Property transactions have fallen precipitously in England and Wales, with roughly 77,500 homes changing hands since the beginning of the year – a substantial 58% dip compared to the same timeframe in the previous year, when 171,000 homes were sold.

This revelation comes from an analysis of Land Registry data conducted by Nested, a property technology company. They pinpointed the East Midlands and Wales as the regions with the sharpest decreases in property activity, witnessing a 60% plunge in completed home sales in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2022.

The South East has, however, seen the most transactions for 2023, with a total of 12,822 homes sold. Nevertheless, this figure still signifies a 58% decrease compared to last year’s numbers.

On a local authority level, Birmingham leads the pack in terms of homes sold this year, with 1,070 transactions finalised between January and March. Leeds (1,043), North Yorkshire (938), Cornwall (920), and Somerset (876) are not far behind.

Despite these numbers, a general downward trend in market activity can be observed across every single area of the market in England and Wales compared to the same period last year.

North West Leicestershire has been the hardest hit on a local authority level, with just 118 transactions completed between January and March of this year, a staggering 73% drop from the 430 homes sold over the same period last year.

Harborough, Anglesey, North Warwickshire, and Melton have also been adversely impacted, all experiencing a decline in the number of homes sold exceeding 69%.

On the contrary, Gloucester has managed to stave off the worst of the downturn, registering the smallest drop in transaction levels at 44% year-on-year, although sales in the area still fell.

Alice Bullard, Nested’s Managing Director, provided her insight into the situation: “The escalating cost of living, rising interest rates, a poorly received mini budget, and the ensuing chaos in the mortgage sector all contributed to depressing buyer demand levels towards the end of last year.

“Despite 2022 seeming like a distant memory, the market slowdown we’re currently experiencing is a residual effect of this decrease in activity, with fewer sales now being finalised.

“On a positive note, there are widespread reports of a resurgence in activity starting from early 2023. While this uptick has yet to manifest in terms of actual homes sold, we anticipate a rebound in the coming months as these transactions reach their conclusion.”