Almost every industry has been affected by the coronavirus epidemic, and the London property market is no exception. The property market has taken a real hit not just from the virus, but the government lockdown that followed it. Now all boroughs across London are reporting huge drops in the number of new homes up on the market.
The biggest drops come from outer boroughs such as Bromley and Hillington. The number of new homes in these areas have dropped up to 91% since the government put restrictions in place last month.
Merton, Redbridge, and Sutton all saw significant drops as well. The number of listings dropped 90% for Merton and Redbridge, with a drop of 89% reported for Southwark.
The City of London and Westminster reported smaller drops that were no less significant. The number of new houses on the market dropped 67% and 74% respectively for these two boroughs, according to Get Agent.
Greenwich saw the smallest drop in new houses on the market, reporting a drop of just 29%. The second-least affected borough was the Tower Hamlets, where a 64% drop was reported. It’s unclear why there would be such a significant difference between the least and second-least affected boroughs, but this decline is being felt across the UK as a whole.
New properties on the market have all but dried up in some areas, while others continue to report new listings even amidst the lockdown. The damage is really being felt in some areas and comes at the worst possible time as the London property market was in the middle of a resurgence. The “Boris Boom” saw house prices rises and brought stability back to the market.
There are several factors that affect how much of a drop different areas have seen. One of the most important factors is the concentration of new builds in the area. Many developers have a lot of money tied into their developments and they have interest payments to make. These developers will be extra motivated to sell their properties no matter what so they can continue to make those payments and make a profit on the way.
New build developers have something of an advantage right now in that they are able to sell empty properties. It’s easier to adhere to social distancing rules and regulations when the property is already empty and there isn’t an occupant involved in the process. Some buyers have also shown interest in virtual tours and buying properties without physically visiting them, which has helped to keep the market afloat during these difficult times.