Rightmove has temporarily halted its monthly house price index following the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.
Its final set of data (for now) found that the total available number of homes for sale has fallen by just 2.6% since lockdown.
There were some 65,531 new listings on the site between 8 March and 11 April – compared to 112,570 between 10 March and 6 April 2019.
But he property portal said this marked an “abrupt turnaround from the best start to a year since 2016”, adding that before lockdown sales had been up 11% year-on-year.
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: ‘The latest Rightmove survey confirms what we have been seeing on the ground – our offices may be closed but the market is anything but quiet.
“Buyers and sellers are pausing, not cancelling sales, or listings, while continuing to access websites readying themselves for when lockdown restrictions are eased.
“But the market cannot re-start in isolation. We need surveyors to work with lenders, agents, and solicitors to ensure successful transitions as well as continuation of social distancing and safe visiting.”
Despite listings continuing Rightmove has said it will park its index for now.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “Given the lockdown and pausing of key activities in the housing market, statistics on the number of properties coming to market, new seller asking prices, and new sales agreed are not meaningful.
“You do not have a functioning market when buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell.”