UK Residential Transactions Halve In April

Residential property transactions last month had more than halved since the recorded figures from April 2019.

According to recent HM Revenue and Customs data, 46,440 residential transactions were completed in April; 53 per cent fewer than the same month in 2019.

Similarly, the 5,930 non-residential transactions las month represented a fall of 46.1 per cent from the figure recorded in April 2019.

John Phillips, national operations director at Just Mortgages:

“It comes as no surprise to see that property transactions have basically been cut in half since the onset of Covid-19 – down 46% on March’s numbers and more than 50% on this time last year. But seeing these figures in black and white really does bring home the scale of the impact.

“In recent weeks we have started to see the sector returning to work and the early evidence is that activity is rapidly rising again. Just as with Brexit, people are fed up with having their lives put on hold and now the restrictions on movement are being eased, I believe we will see many people anxious to get on with long-planned house moves.

“As people have got used to remote working, there may even be a boost with more people looking to up sticks and live further away from their usual place of work.

“There is still a long way to go before this crisis is over but I’m confident that we are through the worst.”

Richard Pike, Phoebus Software sales and marketing director, commented:

“The latest figures from HMRC are unsurprisingly stark, painting a picture that shows just how much the housing market was hit by the Covid-19 outbreak restrictions. However, now that the market is once again ‘open for business’, even in a small way, it is likely that these figures will start to creep up in the coming months. We have already seen that remortgage activity remained steady during lockdown, as borrowers looked ahead to try to save money, and some of the transactions that were put on hold are likely to be moving forward now.

“Unfortunately, we do have the spectre of recession that cannot be ignored. So any enthusiasm we have that things are getting back to normal will also be tempered with the inevitable caution, which has become a pattern for our market in recent years.”

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