HMRC: Resi transactions down 0.9%

Ryan Fowler

August 23, 2016

The number of residential property transactions decreased by 0.9% between June and July, according to the latest figures from HMRC.

The HMRC said the decision to leave the EU has had an impact on transactions in recent months with the number of non-adjusted residential transactions down 13.6% when compared to July 2015.

Stephen Smith, director, Legal & General Housing Partnerships, said the market should take a considered approach when looking at the figures.

He said: “Whilst there has been a slight fall in transactions this month, we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions and pin the blame entirely on the vote to Brexit. Though some buyers may have held off on purchasing a property ahead of the referendum, it’s important to remember that transactions have remained static for some time now, and that the seasonal lull we typically see over the summer months is also likely to have played a role.

“What these figures really highlight is the ongoing imbalance in supply and demand that is plaguing our housing market. We are simply not building enough homes to meet the growing demand for property as more and more people look to become homeowners. It is imperative that the promises we have heard from those in power become a reality. Only then will we have a chance of helping future generations get on the property ladder with ease, rather than struggling as they are right now.”

Doug Crawford, CEO of My Home Move, said the figures show that the market is recovering.

He said: “The minimal fall in transaction numbers between June and July shows that the property market largely shook off the short-term uncertainty of the Brexit vote. Following the referendum there was talk that the market would be quickly affected by the outcome, but these fears have been allayed with residential transactions falling by just 0.9% month on month. While transaction levels remain lower than a year ago, this is in the context of a market that is still feeling the effects of changes to Stamp Duty, which led to a frontloaded first quarter.

“Today’s figures reflect our own experiences of the market. Following the referendum the vast majority of purchases went ahead without any issue, and chains were largely unaffected. In the medium term the market will remain stable, and our view is that it is strong enough to weather mild economic uncertainty.

“In the long term, strong fundamentals will continue to support a prosperous housing market. High levels of demand for both rental and owner-occupied accommodation will drive transaction figures upwards, and our recently published forecast predicts the number of property transactions will rise by 20% by 2020.*”

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