Property transactions up 9.2% in October says HMRC

The number of residential property transactions in the UK rose by 9.2 per cent in October, compared with the same month last year, according to the latest figures from HMRC.

The statistics found that 105,260 residential property transactions took place last month on a seasonally adjusted basis, up 1.7 per cent on the figure for September. 

There were 11,280 non-residential transactions recorded in October, 9.6 per cent higher than in October 2016 and up 12.1 per cent between September and October this year.

For October 2017 the number of non-adjusted residential transactions was about 1.1 per cent  higher than in September 2017. The number of non-adjusted residential transactions was 13.3 per cent higher than in October 2016.

The report also shows that long term movement in the number of residential transactions featured a sharp fall at the end of 2007, coinciding with the housing market slump and credit crunch. Prior to this point, the number of transactions had risen constantly over a number of years to reach a peak of around 150,000 per month.

From December 2008 to February 2014, there was a slow but steady upward trend in the seasonally adjusted count. A distinct peak in December 2009 was associated with the end of the Stamp Duty Land Tax “holiday”, during which the lower tax threshold was temporarily raised to £175,000. There was a corresponding drop in the early months of 2010.

There was another, smaller, peak and trough in March and April 2012 due to the ending of the SDLT first time buyers' relief. Around 7,000 transactions per month benefitted from this relief, although this number doubled in its final month. March 2016 recorded the highest number of transactions in the last 10 years. This peak was linked to the introduction of higher rates on additional properties in April 2016.

Commenting on the sharp rise in recent transactions, North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf said: “On the high street, these figures are much more relevant than the boom and bust of house price rises and falls.

“They bear out what we’ve seen in other recent reports that the market is proving much more resilient than we might have expected. However, the Government could do much more to promote transactional activity which would benefit the whole economy.

“We are looking to the Budget to promote more supply to support additional transactions, not just push up demand and prices as some previous policy decisions have done.”

John Eastgate, Sales and Marketing Director of OneSavings Bank comments

“Whilst more properties are changing hands than at this time last year, more can be done.  Stamp duty, a subject of much speculation ahead of the Autumn Budget, remains a structural disincentive to move house, while falling real wages are also restricting affordability for those hoping to buy.  However with housing looking like it will be central to the budget agenda, there may be some cause for optimism ahead.”




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