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January housing sales break 100,000 barrier

by: Owain Thomas
  • 21/02/2017
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January housing sales break 100,000 barrier
Residential property transactions rose by 4.9% between December and January to break the 100,000 barrier and continue their steady recovery.

The seasonally adjusted figure of 104,820 was also 0.3% higher compared to January 2016, HMRC figures showed.

Last month was the highest total since March 2016 when the number of transactions spiked due to the introduction of higher Stamp Duty rates on additional properties.

Overall, the figures remain largely on par with levels seen over the last 18 months, excluding the March and April 2016 spike and crash.

Legal & General Mortgage Club director Jeremy Duncombe noted that the cost of moving was preventing stronger growth.

“These figures show that although the housing market continues to grow in value and the worth of UK housing stock is rising, transaction volumes are not following the growth curve,” he said.

“Seasonally adjusted, purchasing levels have remained relatively flat on an annual basis, however this shouldn’t be mistaken as being representative of a lack of demand but rather the cost of moving, particularly Stamp Duty, combined with a chronic lack of affordable housing.

“If the number of transactions remains static it will result in house price inflation continuing to trend upwards in 2017,” he added.

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