HM Land Registry have just released their March data-set and it makes for interesting reading as usual. Highlights include:
The most expensive property sold in the month was a £4.5m home in Kensington & Chelsea – this is far lower than usual ‘high priced’ homes sold each month
The cheapest residential property sold in March was in Hartlepool for just £20,000. That’s 225 Hartlepool ‘cheap home equivalents’ (not that Hartlepool’s average price is £20,000, but you get the gist)
There were exactly 100 sales over £1m in England but just one at over £1m in Greater Manchester, none in the West Midlands and none in Wales. Regardless of the current crisis, there remains a massive disparity in UK house prices across regions
New build sales were down 39% versus March 2019 – this is a startling stat and demonstrates the effect of Coronavirus on the construction industry, albeit a temporary one we hope
Perhaps the biggest take-away from today’s numbers? Sales overall are down 38% on the same month a year previously. How will this look in April, we wonder?
What’s your prediction?
As one swallow doth not a summer make, neither does one set of stats or a monthly snapshot define an entire market. We remain optimistic that the residential property market and prices will remain resilient in the medium term and most certainly in the long term.
Advice: If you own a home, price fluctuations make no difference unless you are selling. And if you are trading up then a drop in values actually benefits you because the gap is narrower, so carry on regardless. But, overall we don’t believe that prices are going to be affected badly by the Corona crisis and so if you are thinking of moving once restrictions are lifted, a normal market will resume pretty swiftly and therefore you too should carry on with your plans.