UK transaction count steady in July

Ryan Bembridge

August 22, 2017

The number of properties changing hands stayed broadly stable in July – falling from the month before but rising on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Government figures show there were 107,500 transactions in July, down from 119,820 in June.

However based on expectations for July compared to June they rose to 104,769 from 103,450, the HMRC calculated.

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Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “While the seasonally-adjusted HMRC numbers are nothing to get particularly excited about, they do show a relatively stable market and reflect what we are seeing on the ground.

“Realistic buyers and sellers are getting on with moving and were doing so even at a time when things were relatively uncertain because of the general election.”

Danny Waters, chief executive of Enra, said: “After three consecutive falls, it’s encouraging to see property transactions start to pick up again.

“The political and economic upheaval we have seen in recent months has plagued the property sector, so this increase could be an indication that buyers and sellers are beginning to feel more confident.”

The transaction count for July was higher than the same month last year.

But Shaun Church, director of mortgage broker Private Finance, reckoned the market is still sluggish.

He said:” Last year’s low numbers were influenced by exceptional circumstances as the market was still reeling from changes to stamp duty and the EU Referendum result.

“Overall, the residential market remains subdued, with the lack of new homes coming onto the market weighing down on transaction volumes.

“Rising inflation is contributing to the sluggishness of the housing market, with households finding their incomes increasingly squeezed by rising costs.

“The changes to stamp duty have also significantly constricted property supply, with second homeowners and landlords dissuaded from moving home, preventing movement in the rest of the market.”

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