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Residential transactions up 219% annually in June

The provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in June 2021 was 198,240, 219.1% higher than June 2020, according to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

On a monthly basis, this figure was up 74.1%.

The provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK non-residential transactions in June 2021 was 10,850, 58.7% higher than June 2020 and 6.8% higher than May 2021.

Looking to the provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions, this was noted at 213,120, 216.1% higher than June 2020 and 108.5% higher than May 2021.

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The provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK non-residential transactions in June 2021 is 11,610, 61.1% higher than June 2020 and 30.3% higher than May 2021.

Further to this, the provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate for UK residential transactions in June 2021 of 213,120 was the highest monthly UK total since the introduction of these statistics in April 2005.

Tomer Aboody said: “Looking at the highest levels of transactions since 2005, when data was first captured, the second quarter has seen properties flying off the shelves as buyers pay premium prices due to the lack of supply.

“But with mortgage interest rates at record lows, and some at sub 1%, borrowers are realising this is the opportune moment to stretch themselves in order to buy their dream home.

“This trend is likely to continue for a while yet, while money remains cheap, resulting in prices rising further due to lack of supply.

“Will the Chancellor look at possibly reformatting stamp duty so that downsizers don’t have to pay it or face a significant reduction?

“This would have the desired result of more properties coming to market, keeping a lid on prices while further boosting the wider economy.”

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, added: “As always, it is transactions rather than the more volatile prices which are a better measure of housing market health.

“These figures clearly illustrate the frenzied rush to the finishing line for buyers to take advantage before the stamp duty holiday drew to a close.

“However, activity has reduced since, particularly in London where the savings were greatest.

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“Early signs are that sales will be down significantly but we have noticed nearly all of our transactions are continuing with very few renegotiations.

“This leads us to believe prices will not be markedly different over the next few months.”

Conor Murphy said: “The end of June brought closure to the first phase of the stamp duty holiday and one of the busiest periods ever witnessed by the property market.

“Today’s fantastic findings are testament to the success of the scheme in sparking further interest in an already busy market and positioning the industry as a key driver in the UK’s economic recovery.

“We have championed the stamp duty holiday as ‘the great equaliser’ since its introduction in July 2020 and will continue to do so long after its conclusion in two months’ time.

“The tax break has reduced the amount of upfront capital needed to get on the property ladder, made homeownership a more viable goal for thousands and provided a much-needed form of economic relief in a period where finances are increasingly strained.

“However, with brokers, conveyancers and lenders all juggling sky-high demand, it’s important that advisors manage client expectations and assess how mortgage tech can be used to streamline transactions before the holiday draws to an end in just 10 weeks’ time.

“Mortgage tech can act as an additional team member if used correctly.

“There’s no better time than today to see how features like one-click DIPs, task automation and digital ID verification can remove the legwork in your business, leaving you with more time to focus on what truly matters: providing clients with expert advice.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Residential transactions up 138% in year to May

The provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in May 2021 was 114,940, 138.2% higher than May 2020, according to HMRC.

However, this is 3.9% lower than April 2021.

The provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK non-residential transactions in May 2021 was 10,900, up 87.5% annually and 8.7% higher on a monthly basis.

Looking to the provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in May 2021, this figure was 103,100, up 123.4% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, this figure had fallen by 8.7% between April and May 2021.

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The provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK non-residential transactions in May 2021 was 9,560, 80.1% higher than May 2020 and 7.8% lower than April 2021.

The provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate of 392,860 for UK residential transactions during Q1 of the 2021 calendar year is the highest Q1 total since the introduction of stamp duty statistics in their current format from 2005.

As well as this, it is the highest quarterly total since 2006 Q2, at 419,270.

Steve Seal said: “It’s encouraging to see that the number of property transactions has remained at a healthy level as the market continues to recover.

“House prices are now experiencing a substantial boom, with the stamp duty holiday and demand for remote-work-appropriate properties both helping to fuel the market’s rebound.

“Rising house prices have, however, been detrimental to first time buyers, pushing their homeownership aspirations even further out of reach.

“Many younger borrowers have also experienced a financial setback during the crisis, which has only compounded the problem.

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“As a result, demand for specialist mortgages is expected to rise among this cohort when they consider the lending options available to them.

“The specialist market must prepare for this increase, and lenders and advisers will need to work together to capitalise on the opportunities coming their way.”

Guy Gittins added: “May continued the exceptional transaction volume we have seen throughout the entire year with three times more buyers than usual.

“Viewings have been at a five-year high for the past three months. This has led to competitive bidding but with supply meeting demand, large price increases have been kept at bay.”

Gareth Lewis said: “The busiest May since 2007 is partly down to the lack of transactions last year, thanks to the pandemic, and the stimulus that the stamp duty holiday is giving the market.

“It is too early to say whether sentiment is such that we are now on a continuous upwards trend or it is a blip.

“However, on the positive side, people are looking to transact and are buying property. Even though there are still numerous people on furlough and many sectors are not working as they should, there is still confidence there.

“Until we get out of the other side of all this, and don’t have the stamp duty holiday and other stimulus, we won’t know exactly where we sit. Only time will tell if the market falls off a cliff.

“At some point, the government needs to think longer term and address issues such as the lack of affordable housing.

“This has been pushed down the line by COVID and we are not likely to see anything until next year at the earliest.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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HMRC: April resi transactions highest for that month since 2007

HMRC’s provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate for UK residential transactions in April 2021 was 111,260, the highest total in April since 2007, when transactions were 126,450.
However, this is a drop from the March 2021 figure of 190,980.

Provisional non-seasonally adjusted UK residential transactions in April 2021 increased 197.8% year-on-year, but a substantial amount of this difference is due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the April 2020 statistics.

In addition, the non-seasonally adjusted estimate of 392,170 for UK residential transactions during quarter one of 2021 was the highest Q1 total since the introduction of stamp duty statistics in their current format in 2005, and the highest quarterly total since Q2 2006 (419,270).

Due to the pandemic, quarter two of 2020 was the lowest quarterly total for UK residential transactions since Q1 2009.

Provisional estimates of UK residential transactions in April 2021 have shown an impact from the temporarily increased nil rate bands for stamp duty and and Land Transaction Tax (LTT).

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Following year-on-year decreases in April and May 2020 of around 50%, caused by the pandemic, non-seasonally adjusted UK residential transactions have gradually increased, peaking in March 2021 with a provisional estimate of 173,410.

For non-residential transactions, non-seasonally figures in April 2021 increased 94.4% year-on-year, but again this will largely be due to the effects of the pandemic on last year’s data.

Provisional estimates of UK non-residential transactions in April 2021, 10,520 non-seasonally adjusted and 10,160 seasonally adjusted, are similar to levels reported during April in recent years, excluding 2020.

Following yearly decreases in April and May 2020 of around 45% caused by economic effects around the pandemic, non-residential transactions have followed a generally increasing trend during subsequent months.

Joshua Elash said: “Transactions are significantly down from March due to a large number of purchases completing that month in anticipation of the stamp duty holiday expiring.

“It evidences how significant an impact the scheme is having on buyer appetite and confidence.

“April was always going to be softer in terms of number of transactions.

“The annual rebound has, however, been stunning.

“A year ago, the first lockdown bit into the property market hard, and this comeback is nothing short of astonishing.

“All in all, the data continues to support a growing argument that stamp duty should be abolished completely so as to continue to encourage transactions, upward mobility, and to support the economy.”

Mark Harris said: “April’s dip in transactions compared with March is likely to be at least partly due to the anticipated end of the stamp duty holiday, before its extension was announced, which resulted in buyers taking their foot off the gas to get deals done.

“Now that the holiday has been extended, activity has picked up again.

“Compared with April last year, when the housing market was closed to business thanks to the pandemic, there has been a massive 179.5% jump in transactions.

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“That reflects the grinding to a halt of the market, as well as the surge in demand created by COVID, with more people bringing forward moves to the country and a growing desire for more space, both inside and out.

“On the lending front, lenders have plenty of cash and are keen to lend.

“There are some very competitive products, and with Nationwide returning to 95% LTV mortgages at lower rates than its competitors, it is a good time to borrow.”

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, says: “Although these figures reflect many sales agreed several months ago, they show a reduction in activity as many buyers did not expect to still take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.

“However, activity has picked up strongly since the deadline was extended, allowing many to continue where they left off, as well as encourage new entrants to the market.

“Transactions are always a better measure of housing market strength than prices which tend to fluctuate.

“On the ground, supply is still a problem even though listings have improved as rollout of the second jab in particular is encouraging sellers to make their properties available.

“It is not only some sellers who are trying to profit from the home buying frenzy but certain solicitors are charging exorbitant fees to take on work, whereas others are working evenings and weekends to make sure they get over the line in time.”

By Jessica Bird

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Residential transactions show full steam ahead for housing market

The seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in March 2021 was 190,980, 102.3% higher than March 2020, according to the latest HMRC Property Transaction data.

On a monthly basis, the figure rose by 32.2%.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of UK non-residential transactions in March 2021 was 12,530, up 53% year-on-year and 24.5% on February.

The HMRC data found that the non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in March 2021 was 180,690, 107.9% higher than March 2020 and 49.6% higher than February 2021.

For UK non-residential transactions in March 2021, HMRC found the non-seasonally adjusted estimated was 14,160, 59.2% higher than March 2020 and 61.6% higher than February 2021.

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Dave Harris, chief executive of more2life, said: “Today’s findings demonstrate the resilience of the UK housing market.

“Some of the activity in March will no doubt have been fuelled by the ‘race for space’ as homebuyers increasingly prioritise home offices and gardens over the convenience of access to the city centre, but the Chancellor’s extension of the stamp duty holiday will have fuelled buyer appetite as well.

“The reduction in stamp duty has also prompted older borrowers to release the equity in their homes to move to a new house or to purchase a second property.

“At more2life, we have seen the proportion of over-55s using equity release to fund property purchases triple from 5% to 15% in recent months, showing just how essential the Chancellor’s tax break has been in funding people’s ambitions and lifestyle changes during the pandemic.

“We expect this trend to continue in the months running up to the end of the holiday and encourage equity release lenders and advisers to work together when processing cases in order to meet growing consumer demand as efficiently as possible.”

Jonathan Stinton, head of intermediary relationships at Coventry Building Society, added: “These figures show that it’s still full steam ahead for brokers and the property market.

“It’s clear that the extension of the stamp duty holiday has added fuel to keep the train moving in March, and it’s on track for a great April too with plenty of demand across the board.

“This of course means that brokers have been, and will be, very busy supporting their clients, so it’s a good idea to look for ways to stay on top of things.

“Our web chat tool, for example, is a great way for brokers to get answers to policy queries fast – our team can usually respond within a minute.”

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Cloe Atkinson, managing director at Mortgage Engine, said: “March’s data shows there’s still a healthy level of activity in the market, reflecting the high levels of demand from buyers, boosted by the extension of the stamp duty holiday.

“The figures are further proof that the housing market has adapted well to operating efficiently during the pandemic.

“Brokers, lenders, and borrowers have learned how to successfully navigate the difficult conditions caused by lockdown restrictions.

“Tech-driven solutions have been a vital part of this success, allowing many parts of the housebuying process to be completed entirely remotely.

“As pandemic restrictions in England begin to ease, it’s vital that the industry doesn’t lose sight of the benefits these tech solutions can bring.

“While many people are dreaming about a return to the normality of life pre-pandemic, the mortgage industry should be more ambitious.

“As the post-pandemic recovery begins, the industry should focus on building upon the tech adoption of the last year and innovating further to ultimately provide better outcomes for all involved.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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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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Residential transactions remain high as SDLT holiday deadline is approaching

The number of UK residential transactions, on a seasonally adjusted basis, rose by 24.1% between January 2020 and January 2021, according to the latest property transactions data by HMRC.

This annual rise comes as the stamp duty holiday deadline fast approaches on the 31 March.

Despite the annual rise, on a monthly basis the number of residential transactions dropped by 2.4%.

Looking to the number of non-residential transactions in the UK during January, this figure fell 8.2% year-on-year to 8,980.

In addition, between December 2020 and January 2021, the number of non-residential transactions declined by 3.6%.

The provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in January 2021 was 98,830, 17.9% higher than January 2020 and 25.2% lower than December 2020.

Furthermore, the non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK non-residential transactions in January 2021 was 7,680, 14.6% lower than January 2020.

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The data also shows that the level non-residential transactions was 28.0% lower than December 2020.

Mike Scott, chief analyst at Yopa, said: “New figures from HMRC show that the number of home purchases completed in January was still very high, as buyers rushed to beat the 31 March stamp duty deadline.

“We expect that the number of purchases will remain very high until March, and then drop off for a few months before returning to normal.

“The year as a whole is likely to see a higher number of purchases than in recent years, perhaps as high as 1.3 million.

“The housing market has remained open during the recent and current lockdowns, but many people are still waiting for life to return closer to normal before they make their next move.

“After a brief slowdown in the second quarter after the stamp duty holiday ends, we anticipate a very active housing market in the second half of this year.”

David Whittaker, chief executive of Keystone Property Finance, added: “Today’s figures suggest that home buyers who are unlikely to make the stamp duty holiday deadline are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to purchases, delaying applications until the Chancellor providers greater clarity over the future of the tax holiday.

“However, despite the uncertainty, second properties are making up a significant proportion of the continued rising demand.

“Data from Hamptons International reveals second home sales increased by 58% in January 2021 compared to the same month last year.

“This follows a period of buoyancy in the buy-to-let market as landlords look to expand their portfolios, while taking advantage of an increasing number of buy-to-let products on the market.

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“However, being a landlord brings with it a series of challenges, not least the recent and upcoming regulatory and tax changes.

“Qualified advice from mortgage brokers is crucial in helping landlords to navigate the market and access the right mortgage for their unique circumstances.”

Nick Barnes, head of research at Chestertons, said: “Following a record December, the sales market has maintained momentum throughout January 2021.

“Compared to January last year, Chestertons registered 9% more instructions, indicating that sellers remain keen to move home.

“This is further highlighted by a 47% year-on-year increase in properties currently on the market.

“Equally, we have agreed 27% more sales, largely driven by house hunters rushing to meet the stamp duty holiday deadline but also possibly reflecting a desire to beat any potential shutting down of the housing market as proposed by the Labour party.

“In spite of lockdown restrictions, there are still plenty of households who are keen to move, which is further boosted by the roll-out of the vaccine.

“Boris Johnson’s announcement of the slow easing of lockdown restrictions might bring a new spark to the housing market as people are eager to return to some form of normality.

“So far in February, Chestertons has seen a 73% increase in sales compared to the same period in February 2020.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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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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HMRC: Housing transactions rise in January

Housing activity increased on both a yearly and monthly basis in January, HMRC statistics show.

In January 2020 there were 102,810 residential transactions on a seasonally adjusted basis, 5.2% more than the same month last year and 4.1% more than December 2019.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “Transactions are always a better indicator of market activity than more volatile house prices. HMRC’s report is the latest in a series of recent surveys telling a familiar story – release of pent-up demand began even before the election, which we’ve noticed in our offices too.

“The increase in transaction numbers is particularly striking as they reflect sales which were agreed mainly in September and October. If they are like this now, numbers are set to be even stronger as we approach the peak spring-buying season.

“However, the strength of any recovery will probably depend on whether enough properties become available at realistic prices for buyers taking advantage of improved affordability.

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“The market remains price sensitive so buyers will not pay tomorrow’s prices today.”

Joseph Daniels, founder of offsite eco developer Project Etopia, said: “The UK is finally exhibiting some get-up-and-go in terms of sales volumes.

“This is the second month in a row that the market has chalked up annual growth on a seasonally adjusted basis, and the second month in a row that the total has smashed through the 100,000 mark.

“The rate of growth also remains impressive, coming in at 5.2% for January, following 6.8% year on year growth in December. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis the annual growth rate last month hit 12.7%.”

Daniels added: “This is great news long term for first-time buyers and the wider house building industry but it needs to be sustained.

“No flash-in-the-pan rise in sales volumes is going to fix the problem of low housing stock in Britain and these green shoots need to bloom into a lasting recovery.

“The level of transactions has been down the road to ruin over the past 10 years and had fallen annually for eight straight months prior to December on a seasonally adjusted basis, but at least they now seem to be back in the ascendency.”

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire