HMRC: Resi transactions drop 52% month-on-month

Jake Carter

November 23, 2021


The provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions dropped 52% between September and October 2021, according to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

On a yearly basis, the number of transactions fell by 28.2% between October 2020 and October 2021.

The provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK non-residential transactions in October 2021 was 10,160, 10.4% higher than October 2020 and 1.0% higher than September 2021.

Looking to the provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in October 2021, this figure fell to 85,090, 30.1% lower than October 2020 and 48.4% lower than September 2021.

The HMRC data also found that the provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK non-residential transactions in October 2021 was 10,460, 7.7% higher than October 2020 and 1.7% higher than September 2021.

Stuart Wilson, corporate marketing director at more2life, said: “Older homeowners continued to drive a considerable proportion of property transactions in October, spurred on by modest interest rates.

“Buyers in later life are often keen to move closer to family, friends or amenities, or to a property that can be adapted to suit their mobility, and equity release can be a fantastic way to boost your buying power.

“Matching the HMRC data from today’s figures, research from Key recently revealed that the equity release market is set to break records in 2021, with total equity released likely to top £4bn before the year end.

“However, releasing equity to fund a house purchase remains an under-used benefit of lifetime mortgages and advisers have a vital role to play in educating clients on this option.”

Clare Beardmore, head of broker and propositions at Legal & General Mortgage Club, added: “There were concerns from some that the housing market could begin to slow down in the wake of the stamp duty holiday.

“However, these latest results clearly show that buyers and sellers continue to be motivated by a range of other factors, which includes a reassessment of their housing needs.

“Of course, the big consideration for prospective and existing homeowners now is how they keep the cost of their mortgage at a manageable level in light of an anticipated base rate increase.

“For any borrower the first step, particularly as we navigate this transitionary period, should be to speak to an experienced, independent adviser in order to access the widest range of products and understand what all eventualities could mean for their finances.”

Anna Clare Harper, chief executive of SPI Capital, said: “Housing transactions are important because they drive house prices, which both reflect and affect our confidence, and the economy.

“In the first month following the end of the temporary stamp duty reduction, UK housing transactions were down 28.2% compared with October 2020 and 52% lower than September 2021.

“In short, a 10-year peak in transactions last month was followed by a 10-year low.

“This is unsurprising, because stamp duty is a significant influence on affordability.

“Whilst buyers can borrow more from banks to pay more for housing, stamp duty has to be paid outright.

“For this reason, it can act as a catalyst for decisions to buy or not to buy.

“As for what next: we can expect a general slowdown in housing transactions, but a significant reduction in house prices is unlikely.

“This is because the cost of buying a new property is now higher, and the cost of holding on to a property remains low due to low interest rates and wide availability of low cost, fixed rate mortgages.

“Perhaps the biggest problem the housing market faces going forward is the shortage of available stock, which means that even as housing transactions fall, prices are likely to remain strong.”

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