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Sharp fall in sales of flats as direct result of pandemic

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Buyers looked for larger homes and outdoor space as a result of lockdowns, having a signficant impact on the sales of flats

The number of transactions of flats and maisonettes fell by more than any other property type in England and Wales, according to the Office for National Statistics.

It said that sales of flats were down 29.2% and maisonettes 41.2% between the year ending March 2020 and the year ending March 2021.

Overall sales were also down, but not to the same extent. The number of residential property sales in England fell by 13.9% to 674,263 between the year ending March 2020 and the year ending March 2021.

In Wales the number of homes sold over the same period fell 26.4% to 33,251.

Jonathan Hopper, CEO of Garrington Property Finders, said: “This official analysis of the housing market captures the moment the starting gun was fired on the ‘race for space’ – and when flat owners and when flat owners became collateral damage of the pandemic.

“In the 12 months following the arrival of COVID-19 in the UK, demand for flats and maisonettes collapsed in many areas, with the number of sales falling by 29.2% in England and by a punishing 41.2% in Wales.

“The prices paid flatlined too, rising by an average of just £5000 in England. By contrast, the price of the average detached home in England rose by three and a half times as much, at £17,500.

“18 months on from the pandemic’s outbreak, it’s increasingly clear that this shift in buyer tastes isn’t a fleeting, lockdown-led blip.

“On the property front line we’ve seen a fundamental change in what buyers want. More space, a garden, and a less urban location consistently top the wishlists of those planning a move.”