Between May and June this year, the number of residential property transactions fell by 3.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to new figures.
The figures, released by HMRC, show that 96,910 residential transactions took place in June, which is the lowest seasonally adjusted figure reported since October last year. June’s figure is 1.0% higher than the figure recorded in June 2016.
HMRC noted, however, that any comparisons between June 2016 and June 2017 should be approached with caution, given that higher tax rates on additional properties were introduced in April 2016.
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said:
"When assessing the health of the housing market, property transactions are the figures that we look at more than price changes as the latter can be distorted by supply issues. Transactions show whether buyers and sellers really are getting on with moving or sitting on their hands. These figures are disappointing as we would have expected them to be much higher bearing in mind the turmoil in the market this time last year following the introduction of the stamp duty surcharge.
"What we are seeing on the ground is more caution and more uncertainty but a determination by some to buy and sell where value can be shown and certainly no sign of a bigger price correction - yet."
Stephen Wasserman, Managing Director of West One Loans, commented:
“Consumer and investor confidence in bricks and mortar dipped slightly as the snap election dampened buyers’ and sellers’ interests. Despite this, the market is incredibly resilient and we’re confident transactions will pick up again in the coming months as the sector recovers from the initial shockwaves from the election.
We are in a period of prolonged economic uncertainty, and during this time it’s important borrowers are aware of the range of financing options available to them. We’re seeing steady growth in investors taking out bridging loans, making the most of the flexibility and quick turnaround times they offer while in such choppy waters.”
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