Opinions differ as property sales drop by six per cent
Wed 04 Mar 2015
UK Property sales fell in January, dropping by six per cent compared with a year ago, but estate agent's views vary on the significance of the decrease.
Transactions totalled 97,320 in January, according to the latest seasonally adjusted figures from HM Revenue and Customs.
That is the lowest level since October 2013, and the fourth consecutive monthly drop in sales.
Numerous commentators are expecting house prices to rise by four per cent in 2015.
Property sales were at their highest level since the start of the financial crisis last year, with 1.2 million properties changing hands.
However, sales have started to dip in recent months.
Peter Rollings, of estate agents Marsh and Parsons said that the buyer demand was "still rosy" so he expected activity to pick up again.
"January has seen a boost in agreed sales, which has set the ball rolling for 2015, and this will only gather momentum during the spring - typically one of the most popular times to move house - when these completions come to fruitition." he said.
However, estate agent Jeremy Leaf said stricter rules on mortgages and uncertainty caused by the upcoming election would dull activity.
"The slowdown has come with a thud. Over the last few weeks there has been a change in mood." he said.
The picture varies depending on local housing markets, although recent official figures suggest prices are rising to some degree in every part of the UK.
House price annual inflation stood at 10.2 per cent in England, four per cent in Scotland, and 4.9 per cent in Northern Ireland in 2014.