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Property transactions down by half so far this year - claim

The number of property sales in England and Wales has dropped by more than 50% so far this year, research suggests.

Analysis of Land Registry data for the first five months of the year by agency brand Barrows and Forrester found 147,223 homes have sold across England and Wales for an estimated £52.5bn in total. 

This marks both a 54% drop in transactions and a 57% reduction in the total market value of homes sold when compared to the five months prior. 


It’s a similar story across the nation, with both transactions and total market values of homes sold falling by more than 50% across every area of England and Wales. 

The London market has seen the greatest decline in transaction volumes, with just 15,638 homes sold so far this year, a drop of 57%. 

The East of England and South East have also seen some of the largest reductions in transaction levels, according to the research.

In terms of total market value of homes sold, it’s the East of England that has seen the largest decline at 59%, with the South East and London again placing within the top three. 

Despite seeing one of the largest levels of decline in market activity, the South East still ranks top in terms of total homes sold so far this year, with 24,210 transactions completing since the start of January. The North West and South West also rank within the top three. 

The South East is also home to the most valuable property market, with an estimated £11.2bn worth of property sold so far this year. Similarly, just over £11bn worth of homes have sold across London, with the East of England completing the top three at £6.3bn.

The North East is bottom of the table, although the region has still seen some £1.3bn worth of property sold since the start of the year. 

James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forrester, said: “While the property sector is incredibly fragmented in nature, we’ve seen a worryingly consistent performance across the board when it comes to the reduction in market activity so far this year. 

“Not only has there been a drop in the average price a home is selling for across every region, but we’ve also seen transaction levels more than half compared to the back end of last year. 

“As a result, the total market value of homes sold has taken a significant hit and this demonstrates the reversal in fortunes that sellers now face, with fewer buyers fighting it out for available stock and doing so at a lower price point than previously.”

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    The headline and content of this article are extremely misleading and appear inconsistent with all available market data. Not sure how they have arrived at these figures but the authors should review their workings and correct the record. The HMLR transactions for value data which is published monthly shows 513,161 completed transactions for the first 5 months of 2023, compared with 525,475 for the prior 5 months (August - December 2022), a drop of 2.5%. A more sensible comparison year on year (Jan-May 23 vs Jan-May 22), shows a 12.5% drop in completions. No-one is denying that the market is tough but let's keep the commentary factual and avoid talking the market down even more.

  • Ian Mumford

    The numbers in the article are nonsense. On the ONS website the house sales for May are 74,360, a 25% drop on May 2022.

  • Ian Mumford

    The numbers in the article are nonsense. On the ONS website the house sales for May are 74,360, a 25% drop on May 2022.


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