The UK housing market continues to be down as home sales drop in March
The housing property market in the UK continues to underperform as the number of homes sold in March has dropped. The number of residential property transactions in the UK has dropped 7.2 per cent between February and March, according to the latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The HMRC UK Property Transaction Statistics report showed that this month’s seasonally adjusted figures were 11.8 per cent lower compared with the same month last year.
Between February and March this year, non-residential property transactions also decreased, slipping 7.9 per cent during the time. The number of non-residential properties sold in March was 12.1 per cent lower compared with the same month last year.
Director of sales and marketing at Bluestone Mortgages, Steve Seal said that today’s statistics reveal the continued stagnation of the housing market. Monthly variations are still giving way to the underlying trend of a lack of supply, leaving the market unable to fully serve the needs of all of those within it, or wishing to enter. Combine the lack of supply with the rising cost of living, and it’s clear that finances are being tightened for those trying to save for a deposit.
Apart from figures from the HMRC, yesterday’s IHS Markit Household Finance Index also showed that UK households were overall pessimistic about financial conditions in the year ahead, and that household finances at the start of the second quarter had deteriorated.
Chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, Mark Harris said that buyers may be demonstrating more caution because of fears that interest rates are on an upward trajectory. However, with Mark Carney recently pouring cold water on market expectations of a rate rise next month, borrowers should not worry too much about speculation but act according to their own circumstances and what they can afford.