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HMRC: Highest number of February residential transactions since 2007

The provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in February 2021 was 147,050, up 48.5% annually, according to the latest HMRC Property Transaction data.

On a monthly basis the estimate is also up 23%, and these figures are the highest number for the month of February since 2007.

Looking to the estimate of UK non-residential transactions in February 2021, this was up 10.2% year-on-year to 10,630, and 25.8% higher than January 2021.

The non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in February 2021 was 122,840, 48.3% higher than February 2020 and 26.4% higher than January 2021.

Non-seasonally adjusted non-residential transactions in February 2021 was 9,230, 9.9% higher annually and 27.7% higher than the month prior.

Guy Gittins, chief executive of Chestertons, added: “While there is no doubt that there are a lot of people very keen to move home, many didn’t feel comfortable starting the process until they had some idea of when the country might be out of lockdown.

“Once this was provided, we noticed an immediate uplift in new buyers registering with us, and the subsequent announcement confirming the extension of the stamp duty holiday only added to this.

“As the country emerges from lockdown, we expect moving home will be many people’s top priority; just as we saw after the first lockdown; and are therefore anticipating a very busy spring and summer market.

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“We currently have around 70% more properties on the market for sale than we did last year.

“This is good news for buyers as it means that substantial price increases are relatively unlikely for the time being and that there are generally more homes to choose from.”

David Whittaker, chief executive at Keystone Property Finance, added: “Putting these figures into context, today’s HMRC data looks at property transactions before the stamp duty land tax holiday was extended in the Chancellor’s Budget this March.

“As was speculated at the time, today’s figures confirm many purchases rushed through in February as buyers and sellers took advantage of the tax break.

“The stamp duty holiday presents an excellent opportunity for landlords looking to increase their portfolio and cash in on the tax break, however there are significant challenges to navigate as well. 2020 was a challenging year for the buy-to-let market.

“We saw a raft of regulatory changes in areas from energy rating requirements to mortgage payment tax relief and unprecedented market conditions of surging demand paired with limited capacity while working from home.

“These factors have created an unfamiliar market for even experienced landlords.

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“In these times, it is even more essential that borrowers are seeking broker support and guidance to help them secure the best product available.”

Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, also reacted to these figures: “With the strongest housing market in more than a decade, both home buyers and investors are taking advantage of historically low borrowing rates.”These favour both those buying a property to live in and those seeking rental assets for yield, significantly boosting the number of transactions.

“With the extension of the stamp duty break, further buyers have decided that now is the time to buy with a potential saving of up to £15,000 to tempt them.

“This saving, along with high loan-to-values and cheaper mortgages, is making this a sellers’ market, with buyers waiting in the wings to pounce.

“Many are prepared to pay higher prices than the past few years so as not to miss out, which is pushing values even higher.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Scottish residential property revenues and volumes up over 20%

Scottish residential property revenues and sales volumes rose over 20% in the past six months according to analysis of the latest Scottish government data by UK-wide letting firm, apropos.

The data found that completed property sales rose 23.2% and government revenue was up 20.4% from September 2020 to February 2021 compared to the same period in the previous year.

The volume of sales covering the six-month period rose from 51,030 to 62,850 while revenue from land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) increased from £208.2m to £250.7m.

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David Alexander (pictured), joint chief executive officer of apropos, said: “September was the first month to show the impact of raising the LBTT threshold and this data highlights just how successful this policy was over the following six months in kick starting the property market through what could otherwise have been a fairly moribund period.

“The four-month period from September to October showed the highest volume of completed transactions since LBTT was begun and the greatest revenues received by the Scottish government.”

“There is little doubt that these record figures for transactions and revenues would have continued if the threshold for paying LBTT had continued for longer. Individual home buyers have benefitted from this policy and the Scottish Government has benefitted from an additional £42.5m which it would otherwise not have received.”

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“The ending of the stamp duty holiday at the end of March is clearly already having an impact on sales (both January and February numbers are nearly 50% lower than December) and I would expect the March figures to be static and then a sudden dip in volumes and consequent fall in revenues for the Scottish government in April and beyond.

“Despite widespread support from homebuyers and the property market the Scottish government remains intransigent on maintaining a policy which directly benefits individuals and raises essential funds for their coffers at this difficult time for the economy.

“Despite this win-win tax reduction the Scottish government seems disinclined to maintain a popular and successful policy even though the Westminster Government is sustaining their stamp duty saving for a further six months. We shall see how much of a disadvantage this produces for the Scottish homebuyer and the wider housing market in the next few months.”

Source: Property Wire

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UK housing stock now worth a record £7.56trn

The total value of the UK’s housing stock has hit a record high of £7.56trn despite the pandemic and prevailing economic uncertainty, according to Savills.

The total UK housing value, which rose £380bn compared to 2019, now stands at four times the value of all companies in the FTSE 100.

The value of housing in the North of England saw its strongest growth since 2005 with a £59bn gain, while London and SE account for around £1.8trn and £1.4trn respectively, an increase of 23% and 18% of the total.

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The value of mortgaged owner occupied homes passed £2.5 trillion for the first time, driven by support from the Bank of Mum and Dad, longer mortgage terms, and the support of Help to Buy, Savills reported.

The mortgage guarantee scheme announced in this month’s Budget will boost this figure further.

Lawrence Bowles, a director in Savills residential research team, said: “People reassessed their housing needs and preferences as a result of the pandemic and that drove a surge in transaction activity in the second half of last year.

“This triggered rapid price growth as many buyers who felt secure in their finances looked for larger homes to accommodate the multiple demands of home working and home schooling, as well as extra space for living and leisure.  It also meant that the total value of properties held with a mortgage rose by 6.9% as people stretched their borrowing to accommodate lifestyle demands.”

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Total value% growthIn 2020Value gainIn 2020
London£1,765bn6.1%£101bn
South East£1,420bn4.9%£66bn
East of England£855bn4.7%£39bn
South West£706bn6.2%£41bn
North West£561bn6.2%£33bn
West Midlands£508bn4.9%£24bn
East Midlands£418bn5.5%£22bn
Yorkshire and the Humber£411bn5.0%£20bn
Scotland£390bn4.5%£17bn
Wales£245bn3.8%£9bn
North East£158bn4.4%£7bn
Northern Ireland£117bn3.2%£4bn
United Kingdom£7,555bn5.3%£380bn
Source Savills Research using ONS, Land Registry, MHCLG, UK Finance

By MARC DA SILVA

Source: Property Industry Eye

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HMRC: November residential transactions up 19.3% on last year

UK residential transactions in November 2020 stood at 115,190, 19.3% higher than November 2019 and 8.6% higher than October 2020, according to the latest stats from HMRC.

On the non-residential front transactions stood at 9,970, 6.9% higher than November 2019 and 10.3% higher than October 2020.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “Transactions are always a better indicator of market health than more volatile house prices.

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“However, despite these numbers showing a still-accelerating trend, they reflect sales which were agreed several months previously. Since then, the market has been moving closer to hibernation as is traditional at this time of year.

“It will be a few months at least before transactions fall in line with the reduced activity that we have been seeing on the ground over the past few weeks. Nevertheless, prospects for 2021 remain relatively positive bearing in mind the determination of the overwhelming majority of buyers and sellers to complete their moves even if inevitably some will miss the stamp duty deadline.”

Paul Stockwell of Gatehouse Bank added “The UK property market has undergone an incredible turnaround this year. In the space of seven months, sales volumes have rebounded from the lowest level since records began to a five-year high in November.

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“The latest data shows mortgage approvals still running at a 13-year-high so, while it’s widely accepted that the bumper house price growth we’ve seen this year must cool as we enter 2021, a decline in the number of transactions is by no means assured. Annual growth in sales volumes has actually accelerated, more than doubling in the space of a month, which is excellent news for the property market as a whole.

“It is entirely possible that volumes hold up next year, even as valuations cool after a glut of activity fuelled by the stamp duty holiday and a widespread desire to move to larger homes after repeated lockdowns.”

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Properties in Glasgow are selling faster than any other UK city

Residential properties in Glasgow are currently selling faster than anywhere else in the UK, fresh figures show.

The latest findings from Savills Home Truths Research on the Glasgow and the West of Scotland property market shows that Greater Glasgow’s housing market has seen significant growth in activity since it reopened in July following a six-week Scotland-wide lockdown, with a 44% increase in agreed sales, compared to the same period last year.

Cameron Ewer, Savills head of residential in Scotland, said: “The housing market in Glasgow is busier than we’ve ever seen it. Many people are looking to shake up how they live and are prioritising a new lifestyle over the cost of securing it. As a result, the right properties are attracting multiple offers and selling quickly.

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“We tend to see an increase in new instructions at this time of year, but this year it’s off the charts. The number of people registering to buy with us in the last week of August was 100% higher than during the first 12 weeks of the year, and we’ve seen an 80% increase in the number of viewings.

“Off-market sales have also increased by around 50% – a good indication that buyers are committed and willing to pay at or close to the valuation.”

In Savills’ latest buyer survey, 55% of Scottish respondents said that a village location had become more attractive due to the experience of lockdown. Savills research reveals a growth of 2% in prime values in areas surrounding Glasgow in the year to the end of September, as a result of a fresh focus on room to work from home and to access outdoor space.

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Faisal Choudhry, head of Savills Residential Research in Scotland, said: “The number of new buyers who registered with us between July and September to buy a property across Greater Glasgow and the West of Scotland was 103% higher than the same period in 2020.

“Last year over 60% of our buyers were families, attracted by the area’s good schools and the exceptional quality of life on offer. However, our latest data suggest that a renewed appreciation of space, the ability to work for home and access to outdoor space are perhaps becoming even more important drivers of demand.”

Meanwhile, demand has remained strong in Glasgow City where a lack of supply has driven a 6.8% rise in values in the year to the end of September.

Despite delays in completions as a result of lockdown, £1m-plus activity in 2020 has remained the same as the 10-year average, which demonstrates top-end market expansion in recent years. This includes a sale at £2.9m in Glasgow’s West End, a record for the city.

Choudhry added: “We have seen a 46% increase in the number of sales agreed for properties above £1m across Scotland between July and September compared with the same period a year ago.”

By MARC DA SILVA

Source: Property Industry Eye

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Property Transactions Are Back To Pre-Covid Levels

There were just over 98,000 residential property transactions in September, 0.7 per cent lower than in September 2019 but 20.3 per cent higher than in August this year.

The figures come from the Inland Revenue which logs monthly property transactions completed in the UK with value of £40,000 or above for Stamp Duty Land Tax purposes.

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‘Provisional residential transactions estimates in September 2020 have noticeably increased compared to August 2020, likely due to the continued release of pent-up demand within the property market since March 2020 and early impacts from the temporarily increased nil rate band of SDLT’, said the Revenue.

Residential transactions decreased significantly in April 2020, reflecting the impact of the Coronavirus and public health measures taken in response.

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Between 2005 and 2020, monthly transactions have varied between 160,000 (the height hit in 2006) and a low of 40,000 in August this year. At close to 100,000, the number of transactions is back up to levels seen consistently since 2013.

The nil rate band for residential SDLT was increased to £500,000 from 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021 for transactions in England and Northern Ireland.

Source: Residential Landlord

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Residential transactions up 21.3% month-on-month

Property transactions increased by 21.3% from August to September, HMRC statistics show.

Following the rise they are slightly lower (0.7%) than September last year.

Alan Cleary, managing director for mortgages at OneSavings Bank, said: “Housing transactions continued to recover strongly in September which is great news for the market.

“At close to 100,000, the number of transactions was similar to a year earlier and in line with the monthly average in recent years.”

“With mortgage approvals for house purchase having risen to their highest levels since before the 2008 financial crisis, housing transactions are likely to rise further in the coming months as borrowing costs look set to remain at historically low levels.

“Bolstered by the government’s additional measures to support employment and boost demand during the winter months, housing market activity seems likely to strengthen further in the period immediately ahead.”

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John Phillips, national operations director, Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart said: “Numbers are higher than any of us expected to see and volume is consistently high across the country, surprisingly the South East and London are slightly quieter.

“The one downside has been the lack of lenders offering high LTV mortgages. There are still thousands of clients with 10% deposits who are safe investments and they are currently being blocked from owning a home.

“The market needs a steady supply of these products to support current applicants. Brokers are not concerned about service level agreements being stretched, delivering for the client is more important, timing is not the issue. If lenders can fix that, we expect the demand to continue for the rest of 2020.”

John Goodall, chief executive of specialist buy-to-let lender, Landbay, said: “The market both in buy-to-let and in residential is much more buoyant than any of us expected back in May.

“September has bounced back strongly and is now exceeding the strong levels of demand that we saw at the start of the year.

“We are seeing many landlords anticipating an increase in rental demand as it gets harder for people to get on the property ladder due to increasing unemployment and the reduction in high LTV mortgages.

“I expect this rise in numbers to continue into early 2021 as people rush to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.”

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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HMRC: Residential transactions see monthly increase of 15.6%

Residential transactions saw a monthly increase of 15.6% in August according to the latest UK Property Transactions Statistics by HMRC.

Despite the monthly increase, year-on-year the figures show that the August figures (81,280) are 16.3% lower than August 2019.

There were 8,350 non-residential transactions in August, which is a yearly decrease of 15.5% and monthly increase of 7.5%.

HMRC’s data reveals that the residential transactions for Q2 was the lowest quarterly total since Q1 2009 following impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients, said: “Despite only being introduced the previous month, the stamp duty holiday was already filtering through to transaction numbers in August as buyers rushed to take advantage of the saving.

“Despite the recovery in number of transactions compared with the previous month, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the market with August’s numbers down significantly on last year’s.

“The data illustrates just how long it takes for property transactions to complete and at the moment, with some lenders struggling with service levels, along with surveyors and lawyers, it is all taking longer than it usually would.

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“Buyers need to be patient, as well as engage good advisers who can help steer the transaction through in as prompt a fashion as possible.”

Alan Cleary, managing director for mortgages at OneSavings Bank, added: “After a rocky start to the year, the continued uptick in activity is not only good for the market, but for buyers and sellers who are finally making progress with their property plans.

“People on both sides want to make the most of low borrowing costs and the temporary removal of stamp duty which for now at least is helping to bolster the market.

“However, as we head into the often quieter months of the year, the uncertainty around the UK economy could mean that the strong levels of activity leading up to this point may start to wane.”

Jeremy Leaf, a former RICS chairman, believes that the market is showing determination to get transactions through.

Leaf said: ‘Transactions are a better barometer of market health than more volatile house prices.

“Although a little historic, and there is a delay between the point when the sale is agreed and completion, these numbers still demonstrate considerable resilience when we were emerging from the previous lockdown and before the stamp duty holiday could have much impact.

“On the ground, we have noticed no sign of sales collapsing, renegotiating on deals or price reductions in the past few days – more of a determination to carry on.”

By Jessica Nangle

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Pent up demand sees residential transactions increase in July

The provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential property transactions in July 2020 was 70,710, 14.5% higher than June 2020, likely due to pent up demand following lockdown, according to the HMRC UK Property Transaction Statistics.

However, this was 27.4% lower than July 2019.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of UK non-residential property transactions in July 2020 was 8,380, 18.3% low er than July 2019, but 27.6% higher than June 2020.

The non-seasonally adjusted estimate of residential property transactions was 80,490, 23.2% lower than one year previous.

The non-seasonally adjusted estimate of non-residential property transactions in July 2020 was 8,770, 16.6% lower than July 2019.

The Q2 2020 residential transactions count is the lowest quarterly total within the period of April 2005 to April 2020, reflecting the impacts of coronavirus.

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Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients, said: “While it’s still too early for the stamp duty holiday to feed through to HMRC’s July numbers, transactions continued to pick up owing to pent-up demand.

“Of much more interest will be September’s data when the full impact of the stamp duty exemption will be felt and the bustle of activity that we are seeing will feed through to the official numbers.

“Lenders remain keen to lend although they are exceptionally busy due to higher demand, dealing with the summer holidays and other demands placed on them by the fallout from the pandemic, with closer scrutiny of borrowers’ incomes meaning everything is taking longer.

“Rates are still competitively priced although at higher loan-to-values in particular they are creeping up.”

Anna Clare Harper, author of Strategic Property Investing, said: “The upward trend in transactions data reflects a piece of positive news for all of us: the housing market is moving again after a complex start to the year.

“This change reflects a release of pent-up demand and supply.

“What we’re seeing in the market, which will be reflected in August and September’s data, is the further influence of recent and temporary policies.

“The temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax change is helping those home buyers and investors who are looking to buy a property worth less than £500,000 in particular.

“We don’t know for sure what will happen next: economically, or in policy. But what we can predict accurately is that two crucial factors – economic confidence and policy – will prove fundamental to the future of the UK housing market.”

Alan Cleary, managing director, mortgages at OneSavings Bank, said: “It’s no surprise that market activity is down on 2019 transactions, but it’s encouraging to see a significant uptick since the easing of lockdown.

“With the market experiencing its busiest month for enquiries in more than 10 years in July, according to Rightmove, as a result of pent up demand and the government stimulus on stamp duty we should see an improvement in transaction levels in months to come.

“First time buyers, homeowners and landlords wishing to take advantage of the stamp duty relaxation should move sooner rather than later to ensure they don’t miss the deadline.”

By Jessica Bird

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Residential property transactions jump 32% in June – HMRC

Residential property transactions in June increased 32% month-on-month to 63,250 transactions, HMRC figures show.

However, this is still far below the transaction levels seen in the same month last year. Year on year, transactions were 36% lower than June 2019.

Non-residential transactions rose 31% to 7,340 in June but annually, this was represented a 27% decline on the same month last year.

Market position to be seen in months

Andrew Southern, chairman of Southern Grove, said: “The annual decline isn’t particularly flattering but it’s the trajectory that’s most important. The next few months are going to make June look like an amuse-bouche rather than an entrée.

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“A healthy improvement in volumes month-on-month points to a large proportion of agreed sales that were knocked back, due to the pandemic, finally reaching completion.”

Paul Stockwell, chief commercial officer at Gatehouse Bank, added: “Whilst the transactions figures have not improved significantly since May, the nature of the property market means people have not had enough time to get through the moving process.

“It will take a bit longer for us to see how much new activity there has been in the market since it reopened in May.”

Stamp duty concerns

Mike Scott, chief property analyst at Yopa, said the recent stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland, as well as similar initiatives in Scotland and Wales would help bring some transactions forward to this year but suggested this would not have a lasting impact.

“After a spike in the number of completions in March 2021 there will probably be another fall in the second quarter of next year as the normal rate of stamp duty is reimposed,” he said.

Tomer Aboody, director of MT Finance, also agreed the tax break had a positive effect on the market but said changes to capital gains tax could set that back.

Aboody said: “If the government increases capital gains tax on principal home sales, it will push us back again so any progress made by the stamp duty reduction will be swiftly lost.

“We need more stimulus via reduced stamp duty to the upper end of the market and hope for this in the Autumn Budget.”

Written by: Shekina Tuahene

Source: Your Money