Residential transactions rally in March

Residential transactions rally in March
The market has picked up again, despite weakened demand from buy-to-let investors facing new tax and stamp duty rules

The latest stats from HMRC have shown that between February and March this year residential property transactions increased marginally by 0.5%. This makes up most of the ground lost following a drop of 0.7% the previous month.

According to the report, March's seasonally adjusted figure is 40.9% lower compared with the same month last year due to the unusually high transaction count in March 2016 ahead of the introduction of the higher rates on additional properties in April 2016.

HMRC says non-tax factors may also have caused changes in the property market, such as the Bank of England's plans to curb Buy-to-Let mortgages resulting in a rush to purchase before April 2016, and the EU Referendum affecting transactions in the following months. The residential count includes properties paying the main and additional rates.


For March 2017 the number of non-adjusted residential transactions was about 20.9% higher compared with February 2017, however HMRC reiterated in its data that no direct comparison should be made between March 2016 and March 2017.

Ishaan Malhi, CEO and founder of online mortgage broker,  Trussle, had this to say: “The market has picked up again, despite weakened demand from buy-to-let investors facing new tax and stamp duty rules. This is likely due to the increase in first-time buyer activity that we’ve seen in recent months. With a general election now on the horizon however, I expect activity may dip again as buyers and homeowners adopt the ‘wait and see’ attitude that we've seen in previous elections. This usually then leads to a bounce back in activity once the result is known.

With interest rates still at rock-bottom levels for now, I hope that first-time buyers and people looking to move home don’t delay their decisions for too long. Locking in a good fixed rate now could potentially save them a lot of money in the long run.”

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and former RICS residential chairman, said: "Figures such as those from the HMRC which record actual property transactions are much more relevant than rival indices reflecting price changes because they more accurately depict the health of the housing market rather than simply make people feel better about themselves.

While the HMRC figures reflect what was happening in the market maybe two or three months ago, nonetheless they show the market was fairly steady at that time and that buyers and sellers are getting on with moving when they can.

It will take a while for the hiccup in the market caused by the stamp duty surcharge introduced this time last year to ease but overall the market seems in good health and unlikely to be swayed too much by the General Election at this stage."

Join our mailing list:

Leave a comment



Latest Comments

Scott Garnet
Scott Garnet 06 Nov 2017

If you have a patio or a porch it is important to make sure that any connecting doors are secured. Good advice for sliding glass doors is replacing the panels with storm resistant glass and getting heavier...

view article
richardrawlings
richardrawlings 01 Nov 2017

What has not been mentioned here is the effect of not only higher interest payments, but also that these payments are less likely to be offsettable as a business cost due to the scaling back of mortgage...

view article
Kelvin Lloyd
Kelvin Lloyd 09 Oct 2017

IT is up, to the Planners. If they will only give permission for bungalows on certain (suitable) sites, they will be built.

view article
maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

It's just the beginning of the shocking rise.

view article
maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

I have recently read that the bungalows can provide social housing for elderly residents in London.

view article
zoe glover
zoe glover 05 Oct 2017

Update! Worst company I have ever dealt with. Undervalued a Cambridge property by over 100k, wont take on any evidence of valuation including a RICS valuation done 3 years ago for the very same value...

view article
Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards 27 Sep 2017

Its nonsense articles such as this that make it harder to get clients to realise just how difficult the market is out there. When you see Rightmove and there are more 'price reduced' then 'new' most days...

view article
Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

view article
RyanGeo
RyanGeo 18 Sep 2017

A sharp correction would be a less dramatic expression to use. That is already underway in certain sectors in Reading where I practice as Chartered Surveyor

view article
sean benton
sean benton 01 Sep 2017

Identity theft is a thread for any profession. So,people should stay alarmed. I once take help from a letting agent and came to know that letting agents are taking every precaution to prevent fraudulent...

view article
Mark N.
Mark N. 30 Aug 2017

We have seen a surge in instructions over August and that should continue into September too.

view article
Chris
Chris 30 Aug 2017

Unfortunately, all the legislation bears its force on Landlords and ignores, naively, the effect of Rogue Tenants on the ability of landlords to keep houses in repair and offer properties for rent at reasonable...

view article

Related stories

More articles from Property