New analysis suggests UK property sales not recovered from economic crash of 2007

A decade on from the global financial crisis property sales in the UK have still not recovered to anywhere close to pre-2008 levels, according to a new analysis of Land Registry data.

The research shows that there were on average 43,898 sales each month between January 1995 and December 2007 compared to just 27,023 between January 2008 and the present.

The highest single month for sales was May 2002 where 61,904 transactions were completed and the lowest number was 11,740 in January 2009, according to the analysis from online estate agent House Simple.

This is in stark contrast to the number of properties sold during 2002, with three of the top four biggest months for completed property transactions in this year, and all three months seeing property sales exceed 60,000.

March 2016 was the only month since the financial crisis that features in the top 100 months, with 56,183 completed property sales registered by the Land Registry.

The worst month since 1995 for completed property transactions was February 2009, with just 3,251 properties sold. This compares with the best month, July 1999, when there were 18,420 completed transactions.

Sam Mitchell, House Simple chief executive officer, said:

‘These figures show the lasting impact the global financial crisis has had on the UK property market. Although monthly numbers have recovered and are more than twice the level they were in 2009, completed transactions still appear extremely low.’

The figures show, for example, that in September 2017 there were 25,477 completed transactions, more than 18,000 less than average monthly sales before 2008.

Sam Mitchell explained:

‘It is worth bearing in mind that leading up to the financial crisis in 2008, we were seeing a countrywide, and unsustainable buying frenzy. Since the crash, and post-2009 when pretty much every UK town and city saw property transactions hit rock bottom, you could say that many regional property markets have been operating at a level that is more sustainable.’

However, London is the major exception, as the reaction to the global crash was an influx of overseas buyers looking for a safe haven for their money and crazy price growth.

Sam Mitchell concluded:

‘But even the London market has now slowed, and we are seeing more sensible buyer and seller activity. It feels like the UK housing market has entered a new era; one based on strong fundamentals not panic and an obsession with capital growth.’


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