November busiest month for property purchases since 2016 – HMRC

November busiest month for property purchases since 2016 – HMRC

 

The market continued its rebound from the closedown earlier this year with HM Revenue and Customs data showing residential transactions rose a further 8.6 per cent from the previous recent high in October.

The figure was also 19 per cent higher than November last year in what is traditionally a busy month for the property market.

However, despite the two supercharged months, transactions still remain down over the year.

During 2020 HMRC estimates there have been 914,780 residential purchases up to the end of November – down 15 per cent on the 1,079,750 at the same point last year.

The difference is slightly worse when looking at the financial year as this does not take in the strong performance of January, February and early March.

HMRC figures show 626,550 completed residential sales so far in financial year 2020-21, down 20 per cent on the 785,880 to the same point in 2019/20.

Encouragingly, non-residential property transactions also increased in November to 9,970, 6.9 per cent higher than November 2019 and 10.3 per cent higher than October 2020.

 

Market slowing down

Former Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) residential chairman Jeremy Leaf noted that transactions were a better indicator of market health than more volatile house prices.

“However, despite these numbers showing a still-accelerating trend, they reflect sales which were agreed several months previously,” he said.

“Since then, the market has been moving closer to hibernation as is traditional at this time of year. It will be a few months at least before transactions fall in line with the reduced activity that we have been seeing on the ground over the past few weeks.

“Nevertheless, prospects for 2021 remain relatively positive bearing in mind the determination of the overwhelming majority of buyers and sellers to complete their moves even if inevitably some will miss the stamp duty deadline.”