Annual property transactions rise by 20.3pc, HMRC reports

Despite property transactions falling by 3.2% between March and April this year, seasonally adjusted figures released by HMRC show property transactions have risen by 20.3% compared to April last year.

When publishing the new figures, HMRC highlighted that the introduction of the Stamp Duty surcharge in April 2016 impacted the market last year, creating a surge in activity in March 2016 ahead of the new regulations coming into effect, and as such direct comparisons should be avoided.

Jeremy Duncombe, Legal & General Mortgage Club director said:

“It is not surprising to see property transactions return to their usual levels this month. March’s figures may have shown a fall in transactions, but it’s important to bear in mind that this data was largely skewed by last year’s buy-to-let rush ahead of the April Stamp Duty rise.

HMRC’s figures reveal that there were 99,910 residential property transactions in April, with 9,980 non-residential transactions recorded.

“For the most part, property transactions have remained flat in recent times, as a lack of suitable housing stifles the market and pushes up property prices. As a result, the next generation of homeowners is still struggling to make that first step onto the ladder amid a housing market that is characterised by a supply-demand crisis. Whatever the outcome of the upcoming General Election, the next Government must make fixing our broken housing market a priority,”

Duncombe added.

On a non-adjusted basis, residential transactions fell by 22.5% in April when compared to the month before, while on an annual basis they up 12.8% on April 2016.

Stephen Wasserman, managing director at West One Loans said:

“The property market will take a while to fully recover from the jitters caused by stamp duty hikes and economic uncertainty. On top of this, the result of the upcoming General Election is likely to have an impact over the coming months. Nevertheless, we’re confident the sector will bounce back.

“Although the market is resilient, during times of prolonged economic uncertainty it is important that borrowers are aware of the range of financing available. Flexible borrowing options, such as bridging loans, can help to speed up the transaction, enabling buyers to move faster and capitalise on opportunities in this uncertain environment.”

 

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