There were 104,200 residential property transactions in November, according to the latest report from HMRC, an increase of 7.1 per cent on the same month last year on a seasonally adjusted basis.
For November 2017 the number of non-adjusted residential transactions was 0.4% lower than in October 2017 and 6.1% higher than in November 2016.
Mortgage Advice Bureau head of lending Brian Murphy commented: “Taking into consideration the political and economic headwinds this year, these figures evidence a market that has largely held steady due to the fact that many consumers still see property as a reliable long-term investment.
“Although we’re ending 2017 with a slightly higher interest rate than when we started 12 months ago, all in all one would suggest that we’re going into 2018 on a solid footing; demand for homes in many regions is still high, mortgages are still priced very competitively and we now have the Chancellor’s SDLT exemption for first-time buyers which may see renewed activity at entry level over the coming months.”
Stephen Wasserman, Managing Director of West One Loans, added: “Another increase in month-on-month property transactions is further evidence that the market is continuing to grow at a stable pace. With last month’s Budget being significantly housing focussed, we will hopefully see the market continue on this trajectory in the next few months, as the outcome of the changes start to be seen.
“It has been a challenging year for the wider property sector, due in large part to the continual economic and political volatility – but today’s figures are another positive indicator of the overall health of the market, and we are cautiously optimistic that this trend will continue in the New Year. The bridging sector in particular has seen a strong year with gross annual lending reaching £4.7bn, eclipsing the pre-Brexit high.”
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and former RICS residential chairman, commented: “The transaction numbers are the ones we are most interested in because they show what is really happening and strip out all the confusion over prices going up and down in different parts of the country. They underline what we have been seeing at the coalface for some time - that the market is performing better than expected. There are no signs of any crashes but buyers and sellers need to be realistic if they are going to make sales happen and must accept that transactions are taking longer to complete.
“Looking forward, we don’t see much change in the first few months of the year but do sense that many are fed up with sitting on their hands and will at least attempt to see what the market holds for them in early 2018.”