Transactions decline across the UK

New data shows that transactions in Greater London have experienced a fall of 7.9% over the past quarter.

According to figures for investment consultancy London Central Portfolio, whilst transaction volumes in the capital have plummeted over the last three months to their lowest point since the stamp duty surcharge came in, the picture isn’t much brighter across the rest of the UK.

The figures show that overall, the UK has seen transactions decline by 15.4% in the last month alone, experiencing a drop of 12.6% over the entirety of the quarter.

Seeing a significant fall was the number of new build transactions, down by 18% during the last three months. In terms of market share, new builds now represent under a tenth of the market (9.9%), having dropped from 14.4% in 2016.

Commenting on the figures was chief executive of London Central Portfolio, Naomi Heaton. She said: “Prime Central London has experienced unprecedented pressures with a series of new taxes targeted at the residential sector. An unsettled political backdrop and slow progress on Brexit negotiations have further dented sentiment, resulting in a picture of price sensitivity and falling transactions.

“Nevertheless, there were signs towards the end of 2017 that prices were hardening, with the market – excluding new build – experiencing six successive monthly price rises. These were buoyed by some high value sales.

“Since then prices have fallen back with a 2.9 per cent drop in April. They are now around the level seen during the 2014 high, prior to the introduction of graduated stamp duty which resulted in a top rate of 12 per cent.”

She concluded by commenting on the falling consumer confidence, pointing out that if there is to be any uplift in the market, the government need to take action.

“With the multitude of taxes that residential property has been hit within the past six years, coupled with the uncertainty around Brexit, confidence in the market appears to be disappearing quickly. The government is going to need to find some way of reassuring the nation soon, otherwise, it is unlikely there will be any change in sentiment this side of March 2019.”

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