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House sales dropped in over half of markets in 2018: Project Etopia

Transactions fell in 241 of 374 local authority areas in 2018, with the average drop in sales across England and Wales recorded at 4.9 per cent, according to Project Etopia.

Only 133 local authority areas saw an increase in the number of homes sold, with the calculated rise being 3.5 per cent for the first eight months of 2018.

The firm believes this to be because of weak housebuilding amid fears that the market is slowing down.

Project Etopia says that despite low mortgage rates, first-time buyer government aid, modular smart homes provider, sales have improved in only 35.6 per cent of local authority areas in 2018.

The town of Stevenage and London borough Tower Hamlets saw the worst falls in transactions, with the former declining 27.5 per cent and the latter dropping by 22.5 per cent.

Furthermore, a total of 122 areas have experienced a decline in transactions by over 5 per cent, while 41 local authorities witnessed sales drop by more than 10 per cent and 11 areas more than 15 per cent.

The City of London saw the biggest increase of any local authority area in England and Wales rising by 66 per cent, although only 146 properties were transacted in eight months. The best performing area outside of London was Chorley, at 17 per cent.

Project Etopia chief executive Joseph Daniels says: “It might not be immediately obvious what transaction levels have to do with the housing crisis, but the answer is a great deal. Lack of housing stock means we’re on a merry-go-round of gyrating house prices in this country

“This feeds into massive price gains that occur over just a few years, causing people to think of their house as an investment not a home. When storm clouds gather on the horizon they then guard their most valuable possession by sitting tight. It’s easy to forget that there were 231,690 fewer homes sold in the last financial year than a decade earlier.”

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