UK property transactions down by 45 per cent in April
Mon 23 May 2016
The figures from HMRC show 94,370 properties were sold in April compared to 164,400 in March as landlordsscrambled to snap-up homes before stamp duty changes came into effect, putting a 3 per cent surcharge onsecond properties.
The total number of residential properties sold in April was the lowest for three years at84,280.Doug Crawford, chief executive of My Home Move, said: "Transaction figures are likely to be subduedover the next few months as a result of the rush on buy-to-let purchases in the first quarter and caution caused bythe looming referendum."While house prices are high, buyers who can raise a deposit have been given a boostby extremely attractive mortgage rates which support borrowing.
There are also signs of solid improvement inlending to first time buyers, such as growth in high loan-to-value mortgages available."*Read more: *BlameBrexit: International investors are finally shunning London property David Brown, chief executive of Marsh andParsons, maintained a positive outlook, saying: "April almost marks a fresh start".He added: "After most peakscomes a corresponding trough - and with home sales front-loaded into the start of the year, we're seeing a naturaland understandable calming."The goalposts simply changed overnight, making it incomparable to an extremelyhectic March, which was characterised by unparalleled activity from second home owners and buy-to-let investorsrushing through completions."