Resi transactions up slightly year-on-year

Michael Lloyd

May 21, 2019

The number of residential property transactions rose by 0.8% year-on-year in April, HMRC figures showed.

There were 99,420 transactions (provisional seasonally adjusted) in April, down by 0.3% from March.

Kevin Roberts, director, Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Despite greater innovation in the mortgage market and government schemes like Help to Buy and Shared Ownership, property transactions remain stagnant.

“To really see a boost, we need to fix our country’s imbalance between supply and demand by building more homes.

“Not only for first-time buyers, but across all housing tenures – young and old, renters and homeowners. As an industry, we are working to provide the solutions needed but we also need to ensure the government is increasing supply and making the UK housing market accessible for all.”

Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, added: “There is undoubtedly much pent-up demand as buyers and sellers have inevitably put decisions on hold because of Brexit.

“However, as the politicians continue to argue and don’t seem any closer to a resolution, people are finally getting the message that they need to get on with their lives and not rely on what is going on in Westminster and beyond.

“Lenders remain keen to lend and there are some very attractive rates to tempt borrowers brave enough to take the plunge. With property prices falling in some areas, and not rising at the same rate as in the past in others, there could also be the opportunity to snap up a property at a great price.”

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said transactions are holding up, probably better than expected, and no great change is likely one way or the other with the Brexit resolution apparently kicked further into the long grass.

He said: “However, what the numbers do mask is extended transaction times as lack of urgency and shortage of stock are the main issues affecting the market.”

Adrian Moloney, sales director at OneSavings Bank, added: “With house price growth stalling and in some areas falling, and take home pay packets increasing, there are tentative signs that some prospective buyers are taking the opportunity to purchase their first home.

“Nonetheless, caution hasn’t been entirely cast aside as we are unlikely to see any significant activity without more housing stock and some closure to the political and economic uncertainty which is still in the back of many buyers’ minds.”

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