UK Property market slows as restrictions ease

April’s data from the Agency Express Property Activity Index, has revealed slower than anticipated activity across the UK property market.

National month on month figures for new listings ‘For Sale’ fell at -7.4 as did figures for properties ‘Sold’ at -3.9%. Over a three-month rolling period figures show more continuity with new listings at 10.9% and properties ‘Sold’ at 12%, but looking at pre COVID activity, figures are lower than those recorded in 2019.

Observing activity across the individual regions recorded by the Property Activity Index, only two reported increases in properties coming on to the market and three reported increases in properties ‘Sold’

Scotland was the only region in this month’s index to report increases in both new listings ‘For Sale’ at 0.1% and properties ‘Sold’ at 3.5%. Looking back at historical trends we can see that this month’s activity marks a record best April for the region.

Record figures were also reported in the East Midlands with new listings reaching 7.7%. London and followed suit bucking the trend with properties ‘Sold’ at 2.7% as did East Anglia at 1%.

The regions to record the smallest declines in this month’s index included:

New listings ‘For Sale’

  • Wales -0.2%
  • London -0.8%
  • East Anglia -0.9%
  • Wales -0.2%
  • Yorkshire & Humberside -8.1%

 Properties ‘Sold’

  • East Midlands -0.5%
  • South East -0.5%
  • Wales -3%
  • Central England -3.2%
  • Yorkshire & Humberside -6.5%

The largest overall declines reported in this month’s Property Activity Index were recorded in the North East. Month on month figures for new listings ‘For Sale’ fell to -15.5%, while figures for properties ‘Sold’ fell at a lesser -8.4%. However, looking back at the index’s historical records, pre COVID we can see year on year figures for new listings have remained on largely trend and figures for properties sold have increased.

Commenting on the latest index results, Ben Brookes, Managing Director of Agency Express said: 

It is not uncommon for us to see a seasonal dip in activity throughout April. While this month’s decline is greater than pre COVID figures, it may be a mixed result of lockdown easing and focuses being elsewhere, and less urgency to list properties as the stamp duty window closes. Based on historical trends we would now expect a pickup in activity during May and a further increase in June. As we move into these months it will be interesting for us to see how the year-on-year comparisons fair.

Monthly % Changes for April 2021

% Changes for Mar - April 2021

New Listings
% Change over last 12 months vs Previous 12 months

Properties Sold
% Change over last 12 months vs Previous 12 months

New Listings Properties Sold
Apr 21 Apr 20 Apr 21 Apr 20
NATIONAL -7.4 -98.5 -3.9 -97.5
Central England -11.1 -99.9 -3.2 -97.7
East Anglia -0.9 -98.4 1 -97.4
East Midlands 7.7 -99.7 -0.5 -99.2
London -0.8 -98.7 2.7 -98
North East -15.5 -93.5 -8.4 -93.8
North West -15.7 -97.7 -7 -96.2
Scotland 0.1 -99.6 3.5 -98.2
South East -13.7 -99.2 -0.5 -99.1
South West -12.9 -97.9 -10.2 -97.1
Wales -0.2 -97.1 -3 -93.1
West Midlands -10.3 -97.7 -9.4 -98.1
Yorks & Humber -8.1 -99.4 -6.5 -98.6
New Listings Properties Sold
Mar -
Jun 21
Mar -
Apr 20
Mar -
Apr 21
Mar -
Apr 20
NATIONAL 10.9 -34.9 12 -31.7
Central England 8.2 -34.9 12.8 -30.1
East Anglia 11.5 -35.9 14.4 -32.5
East Midlands 18.1 -33.9 12.3 -32.2
London 17.2 -37.5 16.4 -30.6
North East 10.4 -33.7 11.6 -31.2
North West 6.9 -34.5 8 -33.1
Scotland 20.2 -31 16.5 -31.2
South East 8.8 -35.6 12 -32.2
South West 8.4 -35 11.1 -30.8
Wales 12.6 -36.4 12.4 -31.4
West Midlands 9.5 -34.6 9.5 -32.1
Yorks & Humber 9.4 -34.3 11.4 -31.6
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