Property Reporter: Property transaction up 5.4% year on year
Tue 20 Oct 2015
HMRC has reported that the seasonally adjusted estimate of the number of residential property transactionsincreased by 0.8% between August 2015 and September 2015 and that this months seasonally adjustedfigure is 5.4% higher compared with the same month last year.
Peter Rollings , CEO of Marsh & Parsons, comments: There was a real step-change in the gears of housingmarket activity over the summer, and since June property sales have been ticking along nicely, with thismonth-on-month rise the latest cause for optimism. Theres now clear blue water between sales levels now and ayear 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.
Brian Murphy , Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), said: After a busy start to the summer inJuly, housing transaction activity has since fallen back slightly. This seasonal change is common, andtransactions are still 5% higher year-on-year: an encouraging sign that the market is continuing 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.
Andy Sommerville , Director of Search Acumen, had this to say: The property market is in good health,experiencing steady growth as transactions creep up month-on-month. Looking closely at historical trends, werein an even better place: aside from February of last year which was something of a one-off in terms ofexceptional performance the only time the market has seen higher monthly transactions than this Septemberwas way back in December 2007.
Conveyancers should expect steady business levels, and with improving lending conditions were likely to seemore buyers flock to the housing market. However, the need to address longer term supply-side issues remainsthe core challenge for policy makers. Brandon Lewiss new target of a million new homes by 2020 is a challengingone, but the aspirations of future home buyers depend on the governments ability to deliver on this promise.