May sees property transactions build

Revealing the monthly estimated figures for both residential and non-residential property transactions, HM Revenue & Customs property statistics for May 2018 were released today.

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

For May 2018, the provisional seasonally adjusted UK property count was 99,590 residential and 10,710 non-residential transactions.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, whilst the estimate for the number of residential property transactions saw a month-on-month uplift of 0.8%, this year’s level was 0.5% below the figure observed in the corresponding month in 2017.

When looking at the non-adjusted figures, May saw a monthly rise of 12.1%, with 2018’s figure being 1.0% lower than the level recorded last year.

For non-residential property transactions, the seasonally adjusted estimate experienced a monthly growth of 2.6% during May 2018. In comparison to the corresponding month in 2017, this year’s figure is 1.4% higher. As can typically be expected where the seasonal nature of purchases is concerned, non-adjusted transactions have observed peaks and troughs on a monthly basis.

The full dataset can be accessed here.

Commenting on the figures was Neil Knight, Business Development Director of Spicerhaart Part Exchange & Assisted Move. He said“The number of (non-adjusted) residential transactions was 99,590, which is 12.1% higher in May 2018 than in April 2018. While we are still nowhere near the levels we were seeing before the credit crunch – when the number of transactions had risen constantly over a number of years to reach a peak of around 150,000 per month – it is a marked increase, and could suggest we will start to see a bit of an uplift, especially in the new build sector.

“In fact, last week’s construction output figures from the ONS show that while overall, construction output between February and April 2018 was down compared with last year, new builds bucked the trend with a 4.4% annual rise.

“We are currently working with a range of housebuilders that have got lots of big developments in the pipeline. The focus on new housing over the past few years – with incentives such as Help to Buy – is starting to boost the new build sector, and while we are unlikely to hit the Government’s targets, we are at least moving in the right direction, and this should help boost the rest of the property sector too.”

Doug Crawford, CEO of My Home Move, stated:“Over the past few months, several indicators are pointing towards a cooling effect in the market, particularly in London. This sluggish movement will no doubt frustrate those who had hoped initiatives such as the first-time buyer SDLT reforms would keep a spring in the step of the market. The slight dip in property transactions compared to May 2017 will validate this bearish outlook.

“That said, as transactions fluctuate by just 0.5%, after an extended period of political and economic uncertainty we can be encouraged by the stability that remains in UK residential property. The future state of our economy post-Brexit remains blurred and broadly speaking, our market is shrugging off the jitters that many thought would weigh down transaction volumes significantly.

“The bottom line is that we are still not building enough homes and through times of uncertainty, sufficient supply is vital if more properties are to be brought within reach for market hopefuls.”

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