Tuesday 23 February 2021 3:57 pm

UK housing transactions slump in January as lockdown implemented

UK housing transactions slumped last month due to the impact of national lockdown restrictions, according to the latest figures.

HM Revenue and Customs data showed the provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in January was 121,640, a drop of 2.4 per cent compared to the previous month.

Read more: Student housing firm Scape signs £500m joint venture with pension investor APG to fund expansion

The month-on-month drop is a typical seasonal trend following high levels of transactions in the third quarter of the financial year.

However the housing transactions captured some of the impact from national lockdowns that were introduced by the UK government in early January.

Despite the monthly drop, housing transactions were 24.1 per cent higher than January 2020.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: ‘Transactions always better reflect market activity than more volatile house prices, even though these are a little historic.

“ What they do show is that the market paused for breath in reaction to further restrictions and another lockdown. However, renewed home buyer and seller activity in the last few weeks seems to be directly related to the vaccine rollout and potential easing of lockdown.”

Read more: Sadiq Khan is yet to meet half of his 2023 housing target

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, added: ““It’s no surprise that property sales fell off a cliff in January – they always do. But seasonally adjusted property sales have slumped for the first time since the market was reopened in April last year, which could be a clear sign of things to come.”