Property transactions fall by 1.8% between August and September

Jessica Nangle

October 24, 2017

Residential property transactions decreased by 1.8% between August and September, the latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs show.

There were 100,850 residential transactions in September on a provisional seasonally adjusted basis, 4.6% higher than the same month last year.

Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, said: “Transactions have continued in the same pattern that we have seen throughout the year.

“Although numbers remain level, there hasn’t been exceptional growth. The shortage of housing supply is clearly acting as a roadblock to transactions.”

Adrian Moloney, sales director of OneSavings Bank, agreed that the market has been steady.

He said: “Property transactions may be down in the last month but, discounting the stamp duty spike last year, activity remains broadly on a par with the levels seen since Q3 2013.

“Nevertheless with a growing population, standing still might as well be moving backwards, so we would like to see more signs that transactions are rising, and supply is stretching that bit further to meet demand.”

Jeremy Duncombe, director at Legal & General Mortgage Club, was pessimistic about the state of the market.

He said: “These results follow the trend we have seen since the beginning of 2017 – a stagnant housing market as homeowners choose to stay put.

“With no real incentive or boost for house building, supply remains subdued and buyer activity remains sluggish. The only way we will see transaction numbers grow is with an injection of activity into the housebuilding sector that has to be led by No 10.”

Nick Chadbourne, chief executive at LMS, continues to remain positive by referring to recent LMS research.

He said:  “The slight fall in the number of transactions suggests the housing stock is not being used as efficiently as possible, something Communities Secretary Sajid Javid recently looked to address with a pledge to borrow more to invest in new homes.

“The market remains buoyant in other areas, such as remortgaging, where business is booming – recent LMS research found that the number of remortgagors reached a year-high level in August.”

But Stephen Wasserman, managing director of West One Loans, said the figures demonstrate some market confidence.

He added: “Despite today’s figures showing a slight month-on-month decrease in property transactions, it’s important to note the figures show an almost 5% increase from the same time last year.

“This demonstrates an underlying confidence in the market, even at a time of continued economic and political turbulence.”

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