Lockdown divorce spike could boost property sales by £9.3bn

Recent figures from Co-op Legal Services show that there has been a spike in the number of couples filing for a divorce during the current lockdown. The firm has reported a 42% increase in divorce inquiries between 23 March and mid-May, compared with the same period in 2019.

The latest data on divorces in England and Wales shows there are some 91,299 divorces on an annual basis and should this trend continue, that’s an additional 38,346 couples who could be calling it a day in 2020.

What could this mean for the property market?

Research from estate agent Barrows and Forrester shows that even with a prolonged period of Brexit uncertainty, just over one million property sales transacted in 2019. While this number is likely to be far lower in 2020 due to the national lockdown, the market could see a boost of 38,346 homes entering the market if these additional divorces lead to the inevitable sale of the family home.

While this is bad news for those filing for divorce, it would help boost property stock in a market that has seen a huge uplift in buyer demand since the industry lockdown was lifted in May.

With the current average house price sat at £243,809, the addition of divorce property stock hitting the market could equate to a total value of £9,349,099,914 in transactions for the nation’s property market.

Data Description
Data Point
Annual Divorces in England and Wales
91,299
42% Increase
38,346
Potential additional transactions
38,346
Average house price for England and Wales
£243,809
Additional transactions x average house price
£9,349,099,914

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