Transactions up 9.7% year-on-year
Tue 23 Feb 2016
HMRC has revealed that its provisional seasonally adjusted UK property transaction count for January 2016 was
105,940 residential and 9,600 non-residential transactions.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of the number of residential property transactions decreased by 2.8% between
December 2015 and January 2016. This months seasonally adjusted figure is 9.7% higher compared with the
same month last year.
Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, said: 2016 is unfolding with a sense of dj vu. Last spring the general
election loomed large over the property market, and now a potential Brexit is hanging in the air. Sales activity
often cools in times of political uncertainty and the London housing market usually bears the brunt of it. First
and foremost, foreign investors may be more tentative given this latest turn in events, especially as it follows hot
on the heels of higher Stamp Duty for million-pound properties.
But history shows us that the market recovered quickly from this short-term ambiguity in 2015 and in fact,
home sales have really been building momentum over the past year. The property market is chock-a-block with
eager buyers, who are being propelled on by cheap mortgage finance and government support schemes. Given
the extent of buyer demand, its a great time for existing homeowners to be thinking about their next step up the
ladder, which should drive further purchase activity.
For investors, the change in Stamp Duty for second homeowners in April will be an incentive to make purchases
quickly over the next month. It remains to be seen how much of an impact the EU referendum will have on these
current levels of confidence but go or stay, London remains an attractive safe haven in times of uncertainty.