COVID Guidelines

Following the UK lockdown announcement we can confirm we are still operating.

To remain COVID safe have implemented the following guidelines for our operators:

Social distancing measures observed at all times
Hand sanitisers to be carried by all operators and used regularly
No knocking on vendors doors/interacting with vendors unless absolutely necessary
No visiting of branches
Face coverings/masks to be worn where possible
One person per van, unless those people live in the same household

Please ensure your customers are aware that we will be enforcing strict social distancing to protect all involved. We politely request they do not approach our operators, and boards are left in easily accessible locations for collection when required.

Thank you to all our clients for their continued patience during this time.

Yearly round-up 2020

2020 was a challenging year, but with it now in our rear window it is time to reflect on the events and figures that have shaped the UK property market in the past 12 months.

January & February

We saw a relatively buoyant start to 2020 with national month on month figures for properties ‘To Let’ sitting at 49.7% and properties ‘Let’ at 54.4%. However, looking back at the Property Activity Index’s archives we can see that figures in 2019 were greater at 63.3% and 62.3%.

As we moved into February activity naturally dropped. New listings ‘To Let’ sat at -19.3% and properties ‘Let’ at 4.3%. While February’s figures are impacted by the annual January spike, the index’s data does show a marginal decline in new listing year on year, but figures for properties ‘Let’ have remained largely on trend.

March to May

As we moved into March, we saw a substantial slowdown as the COVID measures started to kick in. March, which is traditionally a buoyant period, saw national month on month figures for new listings ‘To Let’ fall to -10.8%, while properties ‘Let’ fell further at -21.6%.

April was unchartered territory for both businesses and the UK economy. National lockdown saw our services halted and we, alongside rest of the nation downed tools and stayed at home.

On the 11th May we returned to work and at the end of the first four weeks, the rolling three monthly figures for new listings ‘To Let’ sat at -23.2% and properties ‘Let’ at -33.4%. Looking back at the index’s historical data we can see that the activity for the period would normally sit around 1 or 2%.

Without surprise the region to experience the slowest rebound was Wales. Over the three-month period new listings ‘To Let’ fell at -30.5% and properties ‘Let’ at -44.4%. Again, looking back at the index’s historical data we can see that figures would normally sit around 4 or 5%.

June to September

As we headed into June the UK lettings market revealed promising increases. As reported and predicted by many other industry experts such as the DPS, No Letting Go and Right Move we have also seen a surge in activity. Month on month figures for new listings ‘To Let’ sat at 51.1% while properties ‘Let’ rose to a robust 125.9%.

Eleven of the twelve regions recorded by the Property Activity Index reported positive increases across the board, with only one region recording a decline in new listings ‘To Let’. London sat at the top of Junes leader board. Figures for new listings bounced at 67% but it was the increase in properties ‘Let’ that really stood out, at 216%.

July brought further increases but also signs that activity was starting to plateau. National month on month figures for properties ‘To Let’ sat at 3.8% while properties ‘Let’ sat at 5.1%. While we saw steady and continual growth post lockdown, the index’s archived data did show that year on figures for July remained down.

Scotland sat at the top of July’s leader board. Following a drop in new listings in June, figures bounced at a robust 107.1% and properties ‘Let’ continued to increase month on month at 236.5%.

Wales followed suit reporting buoyant activity in both new listings at 28.5% and properties ‘Let’ at 59%.

August figures remained true to trend and a seasonal decline was reported. Figures for properties ‘To Let’ sat at -16.5% as did figures for properties ‘Let’  at -16.2%. However, looking back over the index’s archive data we can see that 2020 declines were greater than those recorded in 2019, where new listings sat at -11.3% and properties ‘Let’ at -8.1%. Scotland was the only region to buck August’s trend with a month on month increase in figures for properties ‘Let’ at 3.4%

The downturn in activity continued into September with new listings ‘To Let’ at -2.3% and properties ‘Let’ on par at -2.40%. While historically September can be a variable month, the Property Activity Index’s historical records showed that the overall year on year figures continued to decline.

October & November

October reported the customary month on month increase in activity. National figures for new listings ‘To Let’ sat at a robust 22% while properties ‘Let’ remained on trend 2.1%. However, the data also revealed that year on year figures continued to decline. With increased COVID restrictions, the largest declines in Octobers Index were made in Wales. Reporting their largest month on month decline for October, new listings sat at -16.2% and properties 'Let' at -19.3%.

November data with no surprise reported a slowdown in activity on the build up to Christmas. Figures for new listings ‘To Let’ fell at -3.7% as did properties ‘Let’ at -6.7%. Much like this Novembers’ sales data the index also revealed that year on year figures continued to decline.  

The South East bucked the trend for a second consecutive year and sat at the top of November’s leader board with new listings ‘To Let’ at a robust 20.3%, and properties ‘Let’ at 9.4%.

December brought a surprising end to the year with figures marginally up from 2019. New listings ‘To Let’ sat at -26.1% (-36.4% 2019) and properties ‘Let’ at -21.7% (-30.4% 2019).  

Additionally, for the first time since the index’s first records in 2012 one region, the North East exceeded all expectations reporting an increase in properties ‘Let’ at 6.8%.

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

This year has not been without its trials and tribulations, but where we have been able to work, we have and like our agency customers we have remained resilient. As the UK’s largest estate agency board service provider, we are the first to witness the peaks and troughs in the UK sales and lettings market. The services we deliver are closely tracked via our estate agency board management system SignMaster3 and we collect board movement data 24hrs a day 7 days a week, from a property being placed on the market to completion of sale.  As a result, we can share this information with you and report what is happening on the streets. The last 12 months have been difficult and the start to 2021 challenging but if the market remains open the industry will find a way to prevail. With the COVID vaccine now being delivered we will be moving forward into spring and summer with more confidence.

Monthly % Changes for December 2020

% Changes for Oct - December 2020

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

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

New ListingsProperties Let
Dec 20Dec 19Dec 20Dec 19
Central England-37.2-36.1-17.1-19.5
East Anglia-34.8-38-25.2-28.9
East Midlands-11-24.3-3-32.4
North East-0.7-34.76.8-23.5
North West-39-37.2-39.8-34.6
South East-5.1-43.8-22.2-24.8
South West-26.4-32.5-23.2-31.7
West Midlands-34.6-45.7-18.1-36
Yorks & Humber-12.4-17.7-19.6-24.2
New ListingsProperties Let
Oct -
Jul 20
Oct -
Dec 19
Oct -
Dec 20
Oct -
Dec 19
Central England-8-6.2-8-7
East Anglia-6.7-8.2-12.4-10.4
East Midlands-7.3-7.2-11.5-11.1
North East-1.5-14.4-7.6-14.2
North West-8.9-7.4-7.9-6.4
South East13.4-2.3-7.7-8.6
South West-2.2-3.8-8.4-9.1
West Midlands-3.7-8.8-3.4-11.6
Yorks & Humber-3.80.1-7-12.3

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