More residential transactions than last month but less year-on-year

Michael Lloyd

May 22, 2018

Residential property transactions rose by 3.5% between March 2018 and April 2018 but fell by 2.7% year-on-year, HMRC’s property transaction figures showed.

For April 2018 the number of non-adjusted residential transactions was about 12.5% lower compared with March 2018.

Similarly the estimated number of non-residential property transactions increased by 7.6% between March 2018 and April 2018, however, this month’s figure is 6.6% higher year-on-year.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “For us, it’s always transactions rather than prices that represent the better test of market strength.

“These numbers show a small increase for April reflecting sales agreed over the past few months, as well as what we’ve found on the high street.

“We’re seeing a determination among those buyers and sellers recognising the new realistic pricing moving on, whereas those still wedded to price levels prevailing 12, or even six, months ago, are getting left behind.

“Looking forward, we expect more of the same as we enter the spring market, which sets the tone for a steady rather than spectacular rest of the year for activity.”

The provisional seasonally adjusted UK property transaction count for April 2018 was 100,190 residential and 11,300 non-residential transactions.

Steve Seal, director of sales and marketing, Bluestone Mortgages, added: “Today’s figures reveal the sluggish nature of the housing market.

“House prices and transactions continue to slow and the monthly peaks and troughs of transactions fails to disguise the lack of suitable housing coming onto the market, rendering the market inaccessible to some aspiring homeowners.

“Combined with the rising cost of renting, this is preventing many borrowers from saving for both a deposit, and funds for a rainy day.

“Usually either/or, the majority of younger generations struggle to save for the latter and as a result, many see their credit history suffer should an unexpected illness, bill or payment occur.”

Seal added: “However, a few missed payments should not be a reason why these borrowers are blocked from routes to property ownership.

“As an industry, we need to ensure these borrowers are provided with the support they need in navigating their way through life’s unexpected bumps and still achieving their homeownership ambitions.”

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