Financial Reporter: HMRC: residential transactions see month-on-month rise
Tue 20 Oct 2015
The number of residential property transactions increased by 0.8% between August and September, according tothe latest Property Transaction Statistics from HMRC.
In September, the number of non-adjusted residential transactions remained steady, after suffering a 7.4% dropthe previous month. Seasonally adjusted figures show that September's transactions are 5.4% higher comparedwith the same month last year.
Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said:
After a busy start to the summer in July, housing transaction activity has since fallen back slightly. This seasonalchange is common, and transactions are still 5% higher year-on-year: an encouraging sign that the market iscontinuing to recover.
Demand from potential buyers is holding strong, especially as many are moving quickly to secure a competitivemortgage rate before interest rates rise. Borrowers are also benefitting from attractive deals offered by lenderskeen to meet their targets by the end of the year. Although house prices have continued to rise, they are doing soat a much steadier pace compared to 2014, helping to improve affordability.
It is certainly promising to see housing activity above the levels seen 12 months ago, but there is increasingpressure on levels of housebuilding as demand continues to outweigh supply. The reality is there are still notenough homes to cater for the strong housing demand across the UK, and transactions are likely to suffer ifsupply doesnt soon improve. New government schemes to improve affordable housing must be in addition tobetter overall housebuilding levels if they are to make any real impact.
Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, commented:
There was a real step-change in the gears of housing market activity over the summer, and since June propertysales have been ticking along nicely, with this month-on-month rise the latest cause for optimism. Theres nowclear blue water between sales levels now and a year ago and were seeing real eagerness from buyers.
Already, many buyers and sellers will be using the countdown to Christmas as their deadline to move home andcomplete transactions, meaning activity often picks up the pace in autumn. London is a city of two halves at themoment at the top-end, buyers are more cautious, and are taking their time to get used to steeper Stamp Dutyon million pound plus property sales. But at the mid and lower range of the market where domestic buyers tend todominate there remain high levels of demand facing up to restricted housing stock. Here were seeing goodactivity when property is priced correctly, and longer chains than ever as sales activity stacks up.