UK transaction levels slide as initial resilience falters

Monthly fall of 4.3% recorded by HMRC

The UK resi property transaction count for September has come in at 93,130, which is down 4.3% on a monthly basis and by 11.3% annually.

The well-documented stampede before the additional SDLT hike in April has of course had the biggest effect on this year’s levels, but HMRC said non-tax factors have played a role as well, including the Bank of England’s plans to curb Buy-to-Let mortgages resulting in a rush to purchase in Q1, and the EU Referendum affecting transactions in recent months.

David Brown, CEO of Marsh & Parsons: “Widespread uncertainty in the months following Brexit and a lack of clarity about the form of Brexit the UK will opt for when it eventually declares Article 50 took its toll on property transactions in September – which were down 11.3% annually. There were 93,130 transactions in the UK in September, the lowest number in a single month since the EU referendum result, suggesting initial resilience is starting to falter.

“A falling pound, rising inflation and a slowdown of the property market paint a bleak picture. However, we expect to see an improvement in October following the release of yesterday’s CML figures which reported mortgage lending at £20.5m in September, a 2% annual increase. Our experience shows that in London particularly, appetite for property and confidence in the market remains solid.   

“Overall there is positive news for buyers and sellers alike: demand is still good and despite many false dawns we are now starting to see interest from foreign buyers, greater competition and sealed bids for properties. Even in the current climate, when some people may want to take stock to see how things materialise, there is still plenty of pent-up demand and little chance of this grinding to a halt.”

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