The fall follows the government announcing possible changes to the leasehold system, including a ban on leaseholds for almost all new-builds, following its 2017 consultation, ‘Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market’.
The proportion of sales that were leasehold for the whole market, comprising new and existing homes, was relatively stable until 2004, after which the percentage for new homes began rising.
New home leasehold sales peaked at 15.1 per cent in 2016.
The North West region saw the highest percentage of all new house leasehold sales at 21.8 per cent in 2018, down from 58.5 per cent in 2017, followed by London at 15.9 per cent, a relatively small decrease on 2017.
Meanwhile the region recording the lowest percentage of new home leasehold sales was the North East, at one per cent.
Figures for sales of new homes by property type show that leasehold sales more than halved last year across all three categories: terraced houses, semi-detached and detached properties.
New terraced houses were the most likely to be leasehold sales in 2018; their proportion of leasehold sales was 6.7 per cent, down from 14.8 per cent in 2017.
For new semi-detached homes the proportion of leasehold sales was 4.8 per cent, down from 14.3 per cent, and for detached homes it was 3.1 per cent, down from 12.2 per cent.
Of all the 44,928 properties sold as leasehold in England and Wales last year, 7.2 per cent, or 3,242, were new homes and 92.8 per cent, or 41,686, were existing houses.