Lockdown Divorces Could Spike Property Sales by £9.3bn

Property sales could surge by £9.3bn this year because of a rise in divorce enquiries made during lockdown, research suggests.

There has been a 42% increase in divorce enquiries between 23 March and mid-May, compared with the same period in 2019, according to Co-op Legal Services.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that there are 91,299 divorces each year in England and Wales, and this 42% increase means that an additional 38,346 couples could be ending their relationship in 2020. 

While not all of these couples may sell their homes, estate agents Barrows and Forrester has calculated that with the average house price currently £243,809, the addition of these 38,000 homes could equate to a total value of £9.3bn in transactions for the housing market. 

James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forrester, said: “Unfortunately, divorce is an inevitable aspect of modern day life and one that has been exacerbated as a result of a lengthy lockdown at home with our significant other. 

“It’s also one of three influences that regularly see properties come to market, along with death and debt, as couples look to divvy up their existing assets in order to move on in life.”

Housing Market