Residential transactions see annual decrease of 11.3%

Jessica Nangle

June 21, 2019

home sales

Residential property transactions saw a year-on-year decrease of 11.3% according to the latest UK Property Transaction statistics report by HMRC.

The UK property transaction count for May 2019 was 89,810 residential and 10,090 non-residential transactions.

Non-residential property transactions were 3.7% lower in May compared to the previous year.

Tomer Aboody, director of MT Finance, said of the figures: “It is no surprise that sales volumes are down on the past year given all the political uncertainty combined with the fall-out from additional stamp duty on second homes that the market has had to deal with.

“While stamp duty hikes slowed the market down as expected, it failed to result in a big uplift in first-time buyers as they continue to face affordability issues.

“With this back drop, developers are reluctant to push forward with developments, preferring to sit on plots with planning until they can see a convincing upturn.

“The steady trend in non-residential purchases can be attributed to the fact that there has been no additional stamp duty.

“Multi-let units are providing yield to investors in a market with low interest rates, so this is proving to be a sensible asset class for investors.”

Adrian Moloney, sales director at OneSavings Bank, added: “Political uncertainty remains a key drag on the market overall, affecting sentiment and decision-making, with London especially experiencing a slowdown in transactional activity.

“We’re seeing both buyers and sellers putting their plans on hold. Once the political details are clearer, we’ll have a degree of certainty which could trigger a flurry of activity.

“Houses are on the market for longer than we have seen in recent months, and with the summer holidays coming up, this trend is likely to continue.

“Landlords with established portfolios may seek to take advantage during this uncertain patch. As house prices are driven down, this will present active buyers with opportunities.”

Josef Wasinski, co-founder of Unmortgage, commented: “These figures highlight what many have known for years, that many people are still locked out of homeownership.

“There are so many barriers stopping people from taking their first step onto ladder – leaving millions stuck in the rent trap.

“There simply aren’t enough alternative routes to homeownership and the country needs a genuine rethink to help people gain that crucially important feeling of ‘home.’”

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