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Housing transactions drop post-EU vote but experts remain optimistic

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  • 23/08/2016
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Housing transactions drop post-EU vote but experts remain optimistic
Monthly residential property transactions fell by 0.9% in July, but experts say the market has demonstrated resilience against the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

The latest data published by HMRC on housing transactions showed that the seasonal drop against 2015 was more substantial this year, as deal numbers fell 8.3% to total 94,550 in July.

However, Doug Crawford, CEO of My Home Move, said the market had largely shaken off short-term uncertainty associated with the UK’s decision to leave the EU on 23 June.

“Following the referendum there was talk that the market would be quickly affected by the outcome, but these fears have been allayed with residential transactions falling by just 0.9% month-on-month. While transaction levels remain lower than a year ago, this is in the context of a market that is still feeling the effects of changes to Stamp Duty, which led to a frontloaded first quarter.”

HMRC’s findings showed that March recorded the highest number of transactions in the last 10 years, due to a rush among buy-to-let investors to complete deals before the higher rate of Stamp Duty was implemented on 1 April.

Figures for the three most recent months provided by HMRC are provisional and so subject to revision.

Stephen Smith, director, Legal & General Housing Partnerships, added: “Whilst there has been a slight fall in transactions this month, we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions and pin the blame entirely on the vote to Brexit. Though some buyers may have held off on purchasing a property ahead of the referendum, it’s important to remember that transactions have remained static for some time now, and that the seasonal lull we typically see over the summer months is also likely to have played a role.”

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