Slowest market areas identified as transactions drop nearly 60%

Almost 77,500 homes have sold across England and Wales so far this year – 58% fewer than the 171,000 sold during the same time period last year.

Analysis of Land Registry data by Nested found the East Midlands and Wales have seen the largest reductions in market activity on a regional level, with a drop of 60% in home sales completed during Q1 of this year versus Q1 2022. 

Regionally, the South East has seen the most transactions so far in 2023 at 12,822, albeit this is again some 58% fewer versus last year. 

At local authority level, it’s Birmingham where the most homes have sold this year, with 1,070 transactions completed between January and March. Leeds (1,043), North Yorkshire (938), Cornwall (920) and Somerset (876) also make the top five.

However, regardless of total homes sold, every single area of the market across England and Wales has seen a decline in market activity when compared to the same period last year. 

At local authority level, North West Leicestershire has seen the largest reduction. Between January and March of last year, 430 homes sold across the area. However, this year, just 118 transactions have been completed – a 73% annual drop. 

Harborough (-70%), Anglesey (-70%), North Warwickshire (-69%) and Melton (-69%) also rank among the pockets of the property market to have seen the largest decline in homes sold. 

At the other end of the table, Gloucester has seen the smallest reduction in transaction levels, although the number of homes sold has still fallen by 44% year on year. 

Alice Bullard, managing director at Nested, commented: “The higher cost of living, increasing interest rates, a disastrous mini budget and the resulting turbulence seen across the mortgage sector all had a significant impact on buyer demand levels during the closing stages of last year.

“While 2022 may seem a long way away now, what we’re currently seeing is the knock-on effect from this reduction in market activity, with the lower level of sales agreed now reaching completion. 

“The good news is that the industry has widely reported an uplift in activity almost immediately in 2023 and so while we’re yet to see this materialise in terms of actual homes sold, we can expect to see an uplift over the coming months as these sales finally reach the finish line.”


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  1. Slinky

    “Lets shove a press release out about completion times”

    “But boss ,the land registry is running at between 60-80 days behind registering new titles and hpme moves  so we couldnt possibly compare Q1 2022 and Q1 2023 without it coming out looking like nonsense as hardly any of the moves will be visible. Itll produce meaningless and incorrect stats like the market is 70% down”

    “Ahhh yeah , but they are estate agents , noone will ever notice, itll be a triumph”

  2. Isa B Agent

    It’s hard to believe that any business would pump out such a clueless press release.

    You can’t compare Q1 2023 with Q1 2022 because the early part of 2022 contained completions that were caused by a mahoosive explosion in sales in 2021. It’s like comparing a grape to a banana.


    Nested must have rolled out its office junior to write this latest press release.

  3. AlexGroundwater

    This story is wrong because Nested didn’t realise how long LR takes to update. I’ve already contacted Alice Bullard and The Negotiator who also ran the press release.

    In reality Q1 ‘23 transactions are already up to 125K, and will continue to rise for some months / years. For example Q1 ‘22 has increased from 181K to 205K since this analysis was done. Realistically it will end up being c. 35% down on ‘22 volumes when fully updated, in-line with the house purchase mortgage approval reductions.

    I am surprised that no one fact checks press releases before putting their name / brand to them ‍♂️

    1. Robert_May

      Spot on Alex; The data from land registry takes about 6 months (on top of the 2 month lag) to jump up from 10% of reported transaction up to about 80%

      in November two addition transactions were added to the 1995 data set


      It only us number pedants who know how misleading the numbers coming out of LR/ONS are

  4. Charlie Lamdin

    I’m arguably the person with the most pessimistic outlook on the resi property market, and I’m saying that this data is obviously wrong, and any agent knows it.

    It underlines the importance of challenging data sets, eg RM’s house price index which is also very misleading.

    It benefits everyone if the truth is sought, and it benefits everyone if journalists don’t just believe press releases they are given, but challenge them appropriately.

    This press release should be a big embarrassment to Nested if they’re trying to achieve credibility.

    Nested should publish an apology, because this false news would be extremely harmful to any agents already worried about how hard things may get. PIE should also apologise for creating unnecessary stress by not challenging this obviously incorrect data.

    No one’s perfect, everyone makes mistakes, but when we do, we should own them.


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