HMRC: Property transactions up 31.7% month-on-month in June

Jessica Bird

July 21, 2020

annual house price growth

The provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential property transactions in June 2020 was 63,250, 31.7% higher than in May, according to data released by HMRC.

However, HMRC also found that property transactions were 35.9% lower than in June 2019.

The non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential property transactions in June 2020 was 68,670, 31.5% lower than June 2019.

The provisional 2020 Q2 residential transaction count was the lowest quarterly total since April 2005, reflecting the impact of COVID-19.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of UK non-residential property transactions in June 2020 was 7,340, 27.4% lower than one year previous, and 31.2% higher than in May.

The provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK non-residential property transactions in June 2020 was 7,730, 21.7% lower than June 2019.

Andrew Southern, chairman of property developer Southern Grove, said: “The annual decline isn’t particularly flattering but it’s the trajectory that’s most important.

“The next few months are going to make June look like an amuse-bouche rather than an entrée.

“June was the first full month of housing transactions since the property market swung back into action post-lockdown.

“A healthy improvement in volumes month on month points to a large proportion of agreed sales that were knocked back due to the pandemic finally reaching completion.

“However, those who only began seriously looking in late May won’t necessarily feature in these figures for months yet.

“A better leading-edge indication of where we are comes from the property portals who have been reporting strong activity, with indications that there has been a further surge in demand since the Chancellor announced the stamp duty tax break.

“The stage is set for the waves of transactions to grow steadily bigger as each month passes and that’s going to do wonders for the confidence of house builders who are planning their project pipeline.”

Anna Clare Harper, author of Strategic Property Investing, said: “The context of the recent change to stamp duty is making waves through the housing market.

“The quick implementation and temporary nature of the change, combined with pent-up demand in the housing market, has for obvious reasons resulted in an increase in transactions.

“As with health-related statistics on COVID-19, it’s important not to take the data out of context when looking to the future.

“It is hardly surprising that the stamp duty change has resulted in a bounce in transactions.

“However, it is worth noting that this does not give an accurate guide to future trends or any guarantee as to what will happen going forward.”

Jeremy Leaf, North London estate agent and former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), said: “Transactions, not more volatile house prices, are always a better indicator of market strength.

“These figures show activity is moving in the right direction but will clearly take time to be reflected in the figures as we emerge from lockdown and associated restrictions.

“Nevertheless, we have noticed at street level that many buyers and sellers are bringing forward moving decisions to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday and continuing lower interest rates.

“There is still concern that improved conditions will be relatively short-lived as economic news deteriorates and furlough support falls away.”

Sign up to our daily email