April’s UK Property Transactions Withstand Brexit Storm

UK property transactions are withstanding the Brexit storm better than expected between March and April.

The property market showed mix signs this week as property transactions continue to fall slightly between March and April but have increased compared with April 2018.

According to the Office of National Statistic’s (ONS) UK Property Transactions Statistics for April 2019, the seasonally adjusted residential transactions for the UK fell by 0.3% between March and April.

However, the 99,420 residential property transactions wrapped up in April was 0.8% higher than the statistics from a year earlier.

Although the London and South East of England are struggling at the moment, these figures represent a steady 5-year rise in residential transactions during April.

Non-residential property is also enjoying significant transaction growth at the moment, increasing by 9.5% between March and April. The 11,300 transactions also represent a 7.1% increase on the commercial sales a year earlier.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS Residential Chairman, said:

“We find transactions are a much better barometer of property market health than more volatile house price data – and these figures are no exception.

“Transactions are holding up, probably better than expected, and no great change is likely one way or the other with Brexit resolution apparently kicked further into the long grass.

“However, what the numbers do mask is extended transaction times as lack of urgency and shortage of stock are the main issues affecting the market.”

Jonathan Harris, Director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, commented:

“However, as the politicians continue to argue and don’t seem any closer to a resolution, people are finally getting the message that they need to get on with their lives and not rely on what is going on in Westminster and beyond,’ he said.

“Lenders remain keen to lend and there are some very attractive rates to tempt borrowers brave enough to take the plunge. With property prices falling in some areas, and not rising at the same rate as in the past in others, there could also be the opportunity to snap up a property at a great price.”

Do transaction statistics suggest that the market is more resilient than recent commentary suggests? Have conveyancers noticed an increase in transactions recently?

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