Transaction levels have plummeted over last five years

Statistics released by HMRC (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/survey_of_prop/menu.htm) provide further insight into the effect of the recession on the housing market. Peter Watkin of law—workshop.co.uk has been crunching the numbers.  The figures are from SDLT returns and therefore only capture information from SDLT transactions, I.E. purchases over £40,000.
Of course purchase transactions levels have plummeted over the last 5 years. In 2006 there were on average of 117,000 reportable transactions every month. The figures from January to August 2011 show an average of just 59,000 per month and the totals of about 800,000 reportable transactions each year has remained fairly constant since 2008.
The graph showing transactions by quarter illustrates the decline clearly but also shows the effect of the temporary raising of the SDLT threshold from September 2008 to January 2010. During that period the number of transactions not liable to SDLT exceeded those liable.
The same information but analysed by month over the same period interestingly shows the re-emergence since 2008 of the seasonal trend of completion peaks and troughs albeit at a lower level that has always been a feature of the residential conveyancing market.
Finally a look at the regional variation in average reported transaction value over the last 3 years confirms lender’s data of perhaps surprisingly resilient prices and the strength of the London market.
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