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Gloucestershire Business News

Lockdown puts £82billion of home sales on hold

Home sales worth £82billion have been placed on hold due to the lockdown on the British housing market during the coronavirus pandemic.

That is according to property website Zoopla which says 373,000 sales have been delayed since government restrictions were introduced at the end of month.

The bulk of the sales were agreed between November and February with completion expected between April and June.

Zoopla said demand from new buyers has fallen by 70 per cent since restrictions on social distancing had made valuations and viewings impossible, although some estate agents are offering virtual viewings online.

Describing the market as in a state of "suspended animation" Zoopla expects the number of completed sales across the UK this year to be around half of 2019 levels.

The website estimated commission payments to estate agents on the stalled sales totalled around £1billion - with further impacts on other sectors such as the legal profession and removal firms - but said there was little sign people were being forced to pull out of the agreed purchases.

Director of research and insight Richard Donnell said: "Parts of the market are at a virtual standstill as a result of the physical restrictions that have stopped new supply coming to the market and the viewing of homes for sale.

"However, the online browsing of homes for sale and buyers expressing interest in property have been rising off a low base over the last two to three weeks.

"Demand for housing is still 60 per cent lower than at the start of March, but we expect interest in housing to continue to improve slowly."

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