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Housing transactions hit two year high – Haart

  • 14/09/2018
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Housing transactions hit two year high – Haart
Transactions across England and Wales jumped in August by 10% compared to the previous month and by 13.6% against the same period last year, standing at 45,752 and hitting the highest level since November 2016, data has shown.  


However, other data showed a slightly less rosy picture in August.

House prices across England and Wales fell in August by 1.9% compared to July and by 3.1% against August 2017, with the average house price standing at £223,834, according to the latest analysis released by Haart.

New buyer demand for homes fell by 4.5% on the month but is up 13% annually. The number of properties coming onto the market fell by 1.5% but has risen by 11.1% on the year.

For first-time buyers the average purchase price rose by 2.9% on the month and by 9% on the year. This comes as the number of first-time buyers registering onto the market has increased by 2.8% on the month and by 25.5% on the year.

The average amount first-time buyers are paying for a deposit has risen by 7.4% on the month but has fallen by 3.1% on the year.


BTL slides but tenants increase

The number of buy-to-let (BTL) sales fell by 5.3% on the year across England and Wales and by 21.1% in London. Average buy-to-let sale prices are up 14.7% across England and Wales and by 12.3% in London.

The number of landlords registering to buy has fallen by 2.9% on the month and by 28.4% on the year across the UK.

In London, the number of landlords looking to buy fell by 12.2% on the month, but by 22.4% on the year.

The number of tenants entering the market across England and Wales has risen by 5.4% on the month and by 35% on the year. The average rent is up 0.4% on the month, but has fallen by 4.3% on the year to sit at £1,324 across England and Wales.

Demand in London has risen by 6.3% on the month, and by 42% on the year with rents are up 2.3% on the month and up 4.6% on the year, with the average now sitting at £1,923.

The average property price in London has fallen by 2.2% on the month but is up by 0.7% on the year.

The number of new buyers entering the market has risen by 1.5% on the month and 19.2% on the year. The number of new instructions has fallen by 6.3% on the month but has risen by 5.1% on the year. Sale transactions increased by 15.5% on the month while recording an annual fall of 10.5%.


Impact overdone by commentators

Paul Smith, CEO of Haart, said that for over two years we have been listening to bold claims from commentators and public figures about the impact that Brexit will have on the housing market, but what we are seeing on the ground is proving them otherwise.

He said: “Even the formerly sluggish London market is starting to make a u-turn. House prices are down slightly on the month and are flat on the year, but transactions have jumped 15% on the month. With 20 buyers chasing every property on the market in London, it is clear that it is a lack of stock that is really holding the market back from reaching its full potential.

“We are continuing to see buy-to-let purchases fall on the year. The additional tax burdens which have been placed on the sector have certainly been a set-back but their impact has utterly been overdone by industry commentators.

“Investors should recognise that buy-to-let is still a worthwhile investment. Rents in London are up 5% on the year and tenant demand is swelling – where else can you find conditions for return this favourable?

“But the market is not without its flaws. The government needs to re-double its efforts to increase housing stock, and there is growing clamour within the industry for further radical action following the success of last year’s stamp duty cut for first-time buyers.”


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