February’s UK Transaction Data Shows Growth Amidst Longer-Term Slowdown

Transaction and Volume data indicates that fewer transactions are taking place as the UK hunkers down whilst the Brexit storm continues to bluster.

Official data sources suggest that, whilst UK property transactions are displaying marginal growth on both an annual and monthly basis, there remains a significant variance between member states of the United Kingdom.

The UK property transaction statistics, released by HM Land Registry, for the month of February revealed that 101,780 property transactions took place. This figure represents a 2.7% increase in transactions since February 2018 and a 1.7% boost since January’s figures.

Whilst this could suggest that buyers have been undeterred by the political uncertainty in February, the longer-term data suggests that buyers have become less confident in buying and selling property.

On a national basis in the year to December, annual transaction figures suggest that UK transactions reduced by 7.3% compared with 2017’s figures.

Similarly, the data for the three months to February 2019 highlight a reduction in property transactions within Great Britain.

The 224,700 property transactions between December and February indicate that transactions in England have reduced by 2.2%.

The 12,290 property transactions in the three months to February in Wales represented a 2.6% fall in comparison with the same figures from a year earlier. Scottish transactions also decreased by 2% to 19,540 during this period.

British sales volumes are also at their lowest levels in five years according to the most recent figures made available by HMLR and UK sales volumes decreased by 2.4% for the month of December when compared with the provisional volume estimate for December 2017.

In December 2014, the sales volumes in England was 76,741; in December 2018, this figure had fallen to 66,424. The provisional volume estimate for December 2018 suggests that sales volumes have fallen by 2% when compared with 2017’s figures. In Wales, the 3,727 sales volumes for December 2018 signified a 5.1% decrease when compared with the 4,659 a year earlier. Scotland weathered the biggest losses in sales volumes, falling by 8.9% when compared with the year earlier.

Overall, the Bank of England’s Money and Credit release showed that mortgage approvals for house purchases also fell below the six-month average of 65,500 approvals to 64,300.

Have conveyancers noticed a slowdown in property transactions over the last three months? Do you think this will continue until a clear Brexit outcome is announced?

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