St Albans sees huge fall in property listings post-lockdown

St Albans has experienced one of the most significant falls in listings in the UK. Picture: Getty Im

St Albans has experienced one of the most significant falls in listings in the UK. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The property market in St Albans and Harpenden has been hit harder than almost anywhere else in the UK by the government’s lockdown measures.

The St Albans local authority district saw a steep decline in new homes listed for sale between March 23 and April 14 – down 91 per cent on the previous month.

Woking in Surrey was hit harder still with a 95 per cent fall, closely followed by the Three Rivers area of Herts (-94 per cent) and North Hertfordshire (-92 per cent). West Lancashire had the smallest drop (-25.8 per cent).

Colby Short, founder and CEO of estate agent comparison website, which compiled the research, said: “In some areas the market has pretty much dropped off a cliff since the lockdown was implemented, whereas other areas have seen a decline but continue to register more robust levels of new listings.

“This is certainly due to influences such as a high concentration of new builds, with many developers having to keep selling due to the fact that they have money tied into developments and interest repayments to make.”

In St Albans, around half of post-lockdown listings have been for new build homes on sites such as Kingsbury Gardens and Maryland Place.

Paul Barker, of Paul Barker Estate Agents, said he was “not surprised at all” that the fall in new instructions in St Albans had been so large.

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“When listing any property for sale we would often see the greatest volume of enquires and viewings within the first three to four weeks.

“With the lockdown restrictions meaning viewings shouldn’t take place, a property runs the risk of appearing stale by the time the restrictions are lifted and buyers start searching for a new home.”

Paul - who remains open for business via phone and Zoom - believes things will quickly improve once agents are allowed to operate normally again.

“I’m expecting there to be a surge of fresh property listed for sale once the lockdown restrictions are lifted as we are historically in the busiest period of the year for estate agents,” he said.