Data shows property transactions up

Latest figures released by HMRC has revealed that property transactions are unsurprisingly higher as a result of the pent up demand the market was experiencing.

The headline figures released by HMRC show that the provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in December 2020 is 129,400, 31.5% higher than December 2019 and 13.1% higher than November 2020.

Lee Pickett, a real estate partner at global legal business, DWF, comments on the latest estimate figures. He said:

“The HMRC data – albeit provisional – is an indicator of the strength of the housing market and the latest figures for December show the market remains active with continued growth.

“People are spending more time than ever in their homes and it’s clear from the growth in transactions that many are assessing if their current property offers them all they need for home working and outdoor space. The current lockdown restrictions many of us are facing do not preclude valuations and viewings from going ahead; this has given the housing market a sustained boost which, spurred on by the current stamp duty tax break on homes under £500,000, is encouraging buyers to get their property on the market.

“But, as yesterday’s ONS house price index showed, the average UK home is now priced at a record £250,000, not great news for many first time buyers struggling with affordability. When the current stamp duty holiday ends in March, we are likely to see a drop in prices and potentially a lowering in the volume of transactions as a result, which may be welcome respite for first time buyers.”

Richard Pike, Phoebus Software’s sales and marketing director, says:

“The good news this morning is that, despite worries to the contrary, mortgage transactions are still getting through to completion.  There is likely to be something of a bottleneck in the next 8-10 weeks though, as the push to beat the SDLT holiday deadline takes hold.  It is also reassuring that lenders (according to the latest Credit Conditions Survey this morning) are expecting the availability of secured credit to increase to the end of February.  For those hoping to secure a mortgage before the 31st March deadline this will offer some encouragement.

“The next hurdle will be getting those transactions over the line before the deadline.  This is now something that looks unlikely to change, especially as yesterday the latest petition to government was put on ice, along with all petitions until Westminster Hall opens again.  The disappointing thing about this particular petition is that there is a deadline, one that is unlikely to see government back in parliament to debate in time.”

The Jeremey Vine Show on BBC Radio 2, ran a feature on the fact that the property market is still booming.

Today's Conveyancer