While this is an increase of 4.3 per cent from the month before and October last year, the year-to-date transactions are still down on the two previous years.
Brexit urgency driving deals
Andrew Montlake, managing director of Coreco, suggested there was some “urgency” among homeowners to “get their houses in order” before whatever comes next with Brexit.
He continued: “Extremely low borrowing costs, a strong jobs market and more affordable prices are underpinning activity in the market despite the political bedlam. We’re seeing a lot more people lock in to extremely competitive five-year fixed rate mortgages, which offer a medium-term hedge against the uncertainty of how Brexit will play out.”
And Montlake added that while activity levels usually drop in the weeks leading up to a general election, the motivation to get into a new home before Brexit is currently outweighing that caution.
Only those who have to move are
Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients, said it was encouraging that transactions have “edged up” on both a monthly and annual basis, but argued they also highlighted that there “isn’t a great deal of activity” in the purchase market.
Harris added: “Only those who really have to move, for whatever reason, are doing so. For them, there are some excellent mortgage opportunities available with lenders cutting rates in an effort to attract business.”
Gareth Lewis, commercial director of MT Finance, said his firm had seen a spike in transactions in the last few weeks, and argued that the end of the year was serving to focus people’s minds and spur them to get on with their house moves.
“There is a bit of a buzz around as people try to close transactions by the end of the year. There was a worry that things would slow down dramatically until the election outcome was known, but thankfully this doesn’t seem to be the case,” he concluded.