August sees property transactions fall

Revealing the monthly estimated figures for both residential and non-residential property transactions, HMRC property statistics for August 2017 have been published today (21/09/17).

Showing data for the UK and its constituent countries, the publication is based on data from both the HMRC’s Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and the Scottish Administration’s Land and Building Tax (LBTT) databases.

For August 2017, the provisional seasonally-adjusted UK property count was 103,490 residential and 10,600 non-residential transactions.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the estimate for the number of residential property transactions saw a monthly fall of 0.5% in August, 6.6% greater than the correspondent month in 2016.

However, it is important to acknowledge the impact of political upheaval across both of these periods, in light of the behavioural influence this could have upon consumers. As a result, caution should be used when comparing the transactions on an annual basis.

When looking at the non-adjusted figures, August 2017 saw a month-on-month rise of 6.6%, with this year’s figure being 5.6% greater than the level in 2016.

For non-residential property transaction, the seasonally-adjusted estimate experienced a monthly fall of 2.1% in August 2017. In comparison to the correspondent month in 2016, August’s figure is 1.8% greater. As can generally be expected with the seasonal nature of purchases, non-adjusted transactions have observed peaks and falls on a monthly basis.

Commenting on the statistics was Doug Crawford. The CEO of My Home Move stated: “While there was a very slight dip in transaction volumes between July and August, today’s figures make for encouraging reading. The noticeable uptick in activity compared with the same period twelve months ago shows that despite all odds, the property market is broadly weathering the political storm which continues to rumble through the UK.

“The market is fundamentally strong and this stability is testament to its resilience. However, demand still considerably outweighs supply, and the bottom line is that we are not building enough homes to support our country’s growing pool of prospective first-time buyers with knock-on effects for second-steppers.

“Despite recent lulls, prices continue to rise faster than wages, and without action to address tightening affordability, there is a risk that hopeful homebuyers without access to the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ will find themselves barricaded out of the market.”

Also sharing his thoughts on the latest statistics was Andy Knee. The chief executive of LMS stated:

“House price growth has been sluggish throughout 2017, with RICS reporting growth grinding to a halt. The housing market has stuttered recently too, with the NAEA reporting a summer slump as the supply of houses available to buy dipped. Now the number of residential transactions has fallen yet further. Meanwhile, the remortgage market has gone from strength-to-strength as owner occupiers have sat on their hands and remortgaged rather than moved.2

“However, recent speculation surrounding a November rate rise should not be taken lightly.3 If interest rates are hiked for the first time in a decade, mortgage repayments will be on the rise. Owner occupiers should act now to secure the best fixed rate deals while they can.”

The statistics can be accessed here.

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