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‘Race for space’ drives residential transactions up by a third in August

  • 21/09/2021
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‘Race for space’ drives residential transactions up by a third in August
Seasonally adjusted residential transactions in the UK totalled 98,300, a 32 per cent rise on last month.


Figures from HMRC showed this was also up by a fifth on the number of residential transactions completed in August last year. 

Despite predictions that the tapering of the stamp duty holiday would subdue activity, brokers said low rates along with continued lack of supply and desire for more space would sustain business. 

Richard Pike, Phoebus Software sales and marketing director, said: “Without the full financial incentive of the stamp duty holiday the housing market continues to return to a more normal level of activity. However, demand is still outweighing supply and we are seeing that even with greater freedoms being afforded to us, the race for space is ongoing. 

“Even if the stamp duty holiday is almost over, additional financial incentives have recently been presented to homebuyers in the UK. Last week, the lowest ever mortgage rate in Britain was launched at a mere 0.79 per cent, meaning those who are in a strong enough position to take out a mortgage can enjoy low rates as lenders embark on a rate war.”  

Residential transactions plummeted by 63 per cent to 73,740 in July as buyers withdrew from the market once the incentive of a tax-free property purchase up to £500,000 was removed. 

However, Mike Scott, chief analyst at estate agency Yopa, said another wave of demand was expected to occur soon ahead of the final tapering of the tax break, which removes the levy for purchases up to £250,000. 

He said: “Yopa expects another surge in the number of completed sales in September, as people rush to beat the final deadline for saving up to £2,500 of stamp duty in England and Northern Ireland, followed by another brief dip in October and then a return to a more normal, but still very active, housing market.” 

Meanwhile, Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients, said activity in October would be more of a “step edge” than a cliff edge.  

“With listings picking up and the cost of finance across the loan to value spectrum continuing to fall, business is brisk and likely to remain so for a while yet,” he added. 

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