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Housing transactions continue to slow – HMRC

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  • 21/07/2017
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Housing transactions continue to slow – HMRC
Housing transactions fell 3.3% in June echoing a similar fall between April and May, according to the latest data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The continuing fall gives greater credence to those suggesting the residential purchase market is slowing down and further highlights the severe need for more homes to be built.

HMRC figures showed 96,910 residential transactions were completed in June.

 

Disappointing

Former Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors residential chairman and current north London estate agent Jeremy Leaf argued the figures were telling for the health of the market.

“When assessing the health of the housing market, property transactions are the figures that we look at more than price changes as the latter can be distorted by supply issues,” he said.

“Transactions show whether buyers and sellers really are getting on with moving or sitting on their hands. These figures are disappointing as we would have expected them to be much higher bearing in mind the turmoil in the market this time last year following the introduction of the Stamp Duty surcharge.

“What we are seeing on the ground is more caution and more uncertainty but a determination by some to buy and sell where value can be shown and certainly no sign of a bigger price correction – yet,” he added.

 

Buyer beware

The seasonally adjusted figure is 1.0% higher than June last year, however HMRC warned that comparisons with last year should be avoided given the significant impact of the Stamp Duty changes in 2016.

Trussle CEO and founder Ishaan Malhi said the data suggested that buyers and sellers were feeling slightly less confident about the future of the property market and potentially unwilling to press ahead with purchases.

“There’s also the possibility that buyers are sitting on their hands until they know the full extent of the recent fall in house prices in June,” he added.

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