Estate agents worried about their cashflow can take some refuge in data released today that shows 373,000 properties have been frozen by the crisis with a combined commission value of £1.47 billion which will begin moving to exchange as soon as the lockdown ends.
Zoopla says the majority of these frozen sales were agreed between November 2019 and February 2020, and would have been set to complete between April and June.
These extraordinary figures have been extracted from Zoopla’s market data, which also shows that the number of properties listed on the market has decreased by just 4% since the start of March. This suggests strongly that vendors yet to find a buyer have simply ‘paused’ their property’s marketing rather than withdraw it from the market.
“There is a two-speed housing market at present,” says Zoopla’s head of research, Richard Donnell.
“Parts of the market are at a standstill as a result of the physical restrictions that have stopped new supply coming to the market and the viewing of homes for sale.
“But the online browsing of homes for sale and buyers expressing interest in property have been rising off a low base over the last two-three weeks.
“Demand for housing is still 60% lower than at the start of March, but we expect interest in housing to continue to improve slowly. Northern cities have seen the strongest improvement in underlying demand although levels remain half those at the start of the crisis.”
Zoopla claims that sales are continuing to be agreed in low volumes by purchasers who viewed ahead of the lockdown.