Lockdown divorce spike could boost property sales by £9.3bn

Ryan Fowler

June 10, 2020

The property market could see an extra 38,346 homes enter the market with additional divorces leading to the inevitable sale of the family home, according to estate agent Barrows and Forrester.

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.

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.

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.

“Of course, not all married couples will own their home and not all of them will opt to sell it on, with some using it as collateral within the divorce proceedings.

“However, many will take this route and with such a notable spike in the number of divorces, it’s very likely we will see a boost in the amount of stock reaching the market, and the value of homes sold.

“The one positive of this is that we’ve seen a huge uplift in buyer demand since the property industry reopened last month but a continued hesitance by some sellers to list and this stock boost should help meet this demand while helping keep house prices buoyant.”

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