UK residential property transactions fall
The number of residential property transactions across the UK fell last month, according to HMRC data
The number of residential property transactions across the UK fell last month, according to data collected by HMRC.
Seasonally adjusted, there were 99,420 residential transactions in April, a 0.3 per cent decline month-on-month.
However, the figures show that annually the number of residential transactions were up 0.8 per cent.
In addition, there were 11,300 non-residential transactions last month, which equates to a rise of 9.5 per cent on a monthly basis, and a 7.1 per cent increase annually.
Legal & General Mortgage Club director Kevin Roberts said that despite greater innovation in the mortgage market and government schemes like Help to Buy and Shared Ownership, property transactions remain stagnant.
Roberts said that to really see a boost, there is a need to fix the country’s imbalance between supply and demand by building more homes. This should be not only for first-time buyers, but across all housing tenures – young and old, renters and homeowners.
North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf says that they find transactions are a much better barometer of property market health than more volatile house price data – and these figures are no exception.
Leaf says that transactions are holding up, probably better than expected, and no great change is likely one way or the other with Brexit resolution apparently kicked further into the long grass. However, what the numbers do mask is extended transaction times as lack of urgency and shortage of stock are the main issues affecting the market.
MT Finance director Joshua Elash adds that it comes as no surprise to see transactional volumes in the residential space falling month-on-month.
Elash said that they expect this trend to continue while uncertainty over Brexit specifically impacts the end-user market and overly aggressive tax treatment continues to dampen investor activity and appetite. However, it is a tale of two cities as investors turn instead toward commercial property where yields remain attractive and less oppressive tax policies support and encourage investment.