HMRC: The number of resi property transactions rises

Michael Lloyd

November 21, 2019

The number of residential property transactions in October has risen both monthly and yearly according to the latest HMRC Property Transaction Statistics.

There were 103,680 residential property transactions in October, which is up 4.3% year-on-year and 4.3% higher than September 2019.

Andrew Montlake, managing director at Coreco, said: “Residential transaction levels continued to gain momentum in October, suggesting an urgency among homeowners to get their houses in order before whatever happens post-Brexit.

“While Boris may want to “get Brexit done”, many households simply want to get their purchases and sales done ready to weather out whatever happens next.

“Despite the political climate heating up significantly in the Autumn, on the ground people have remained extremely pragmatic and are just getting on with it.

“Extremely low borrowing costs, a strong jobs market and more affordable prices are underpinning activity in the market despite the political bedlam.

“We’re seeing a lot more people lock in to extremely competitive 5-year fixed rate mortgages, which offer a medium-term hedge against the uncertainty of how Brexit will play out.

“Traditionally, activity levels tend to drop in the weeks before a General Election but again the urgency to get into a new home before Brexit is outweighing that.”

Gareth Lewis, commercial director of property lender MT Finance, added: “It is positive to see a marginal uplift in property transactions, particularly as there was an element of stagnation creeping into the market at the back end of the summer.

“There is activity in the marketplace, especially over the past couple of weeks, when we have seen a spike in transactions.

“There is nothing like an approaching year-end to focus the mind and spur people on to get things done.

“There is a bit of a buzz around as people try to close transactions by the end of the year.

“There was a worry that things would slow down dramatically until the election outcome was known, but thankfully this doesn’t seem to be the case.”

Kevin Roberts, director at Legal & General Mortgage Club, said that there is still a healthy appetite for homeownership across the UK.

Roberts said: “Advisers seem to be strengthening their position in the market, taking advantage of product transfers and competitive rates from lenders.

“At Legal & General Mortgage Club we have seen our own adviser community go from strength to strength with October resulting in our busiest ever month, with £7.5bn completions.

“This shows consumers are seeking advice during the mortgage journey and advisers are working with lenders to find the solutions that enable borrowers to move onto and up the property ladder.”

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