THE Coronavirus pandemic has impacted many aspects of society- and the property market is no exception.

Across the UK, house prices have fluctuated, the stamp duty holiday was introduced and the pandemic forced people to reconsider their living situations.

However, is County Durham included in these national trends?

We have crunched the numbers to see just how much County Durham's property market has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

As well as property sales we will also be looking at County Durham’s housing boom to see how much property prices have increased by in the county.

A spokesperson for Bridgfords Lettings and Estate Agents (based in Darlington and Durham) said they have noticed an localised demand for houses with additional rooms.

They said:  “The biggest change they have come to find in the sales and rental market is a huge demand for homes with additional bedrooms or reception rooms that would allow for home office space.

“We have also noticed an increased demand for properties with private gardens.

“These types of properties are in more demand than ever which in turn has caused an uplift in selling and rental prices across our county."

The number of property transactions made in County Durham

According to Land Registry, 4492 property transactions have taken place in County Durham between January and September which is 38 per cent less than last year’s figures (7258).

Research by We Buy Any Home also found that house sales enquiries in County Durham decreased by 32.7% this year when compared to last.

As you can see from the chart, property transactions were buoyant at the start of the year; property transactions were up 12% this January compared to last.

However, when lockdown was announced in March 2020 the county’s property transactions took a dip.

Between March and April, property transactions decreased by 58 per cent.

However, activity started to pick up during the summer months and property transactions increased by 123 per cent between April and July.

Despite this impressive figure, this is still 31 per cent lower than July 2019’s figure.

A spokesperson for Bridgfords Lettings and Estate Agents predicts this “mini boom” will slow down during the festive period.

They added: “However we anticipate that the market will become just as buoyant in the New Year as it has been following the easing of the initial lockdown restrictions in summer”.

How house prices have changed in County Durham

A representative for Zoopla (real estate company), said the housing sales market is set to have its busiest Christmas period in more than a decade- hence the increase of property price.

She explained: “As a result of the increased demand and activity in the market, average UK house price growth is currently up 3.5% on the year and could rise to 4% growth by the end of December”.

Property experts also predict an increase of house sales early next year as people try to make the stamp duty deadline- something that could also contribute to increased property price.

While average house prices increased across the UK- can the same be said for County Durham?

As you can see, average house prices in County Durham have fluctuated significantly throughout 2020.

In January of this year, the average property price was 2.2 per cent higher than in January 2019.

When lockdown was announced in March, property prices began to slump and decreased by 2.6 per cent between March and April.

In May of this year, property prices were four per cent lower than the average property price in May 2019.

However, in June the average property price began to climb increasing by a total of 7.2 per cent by September.

Darlington’s average property price- 2019 v 2020

The data shows that the average property price in Darlington is consistently much higher than County Durham's.

While the average property price in County Durham began to decline from March to April, Darlington bucked the trend.

In March-April 2020, the average property price in Darlington increased by 2.5 per cent- and April’s figure was 1.3  per cent higher than the previous year.

While the average property price rapidly increased in County Durham between June and September, Darlington’s figures fluctuated- they average price decreased by £930 between June and July before rapidly increasing in August and September (4.7 per cent from July to September).

What do the experts predict for the future?

As with many things in the current climate, experts predict that the future of the property market is uncertain.

Mark Irwin, Marketing Director at WeBuyAnyHome said: “The property market, like the global economy, has gone through unprecedented changes in 2020- and the truth is that no one can be exactly sure what will happen next.

“We anticipate lower value properties that don’t benefit from the stamp duty reduction to be more acutely impacted, especially as they tend to belong to lower income residents who may be more susceptible to job losses and need to sell as a result.”