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."

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Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

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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

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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...

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Mark N.
Mark N. 30 Aug 2017

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

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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...

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Christian Donovan
Christian Donovan 18 Aug 2017

The write-down on house values, combined with the fall in the GBP saddled the fund?s property portfolio with a 1.4% loss in the second quarter. The shocking amount of $240 million.

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Samantha Goodman
Samantha Goodman 11 Aug 2017

Interesting point of view.

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Samantha Goodman
Samantha Goodman 11 Aug 2017

It depends on the people, some older adults decide to make a long-distance move in order to live closer to their children or settle in a place with a lower cost of living.

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brandonlee10
brandonlee10 24 Jul 2017

The financial ramifications of the triggering of Article 50, the starting gun for Britain's departure from the EU, are far from clear. Buyers will be most cautious in London, given that buying a home in...

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IrisJ.
IrisJ. 19 Jul 2017

Great advice, but may I also add that when buying an already built home, make sure you do all of the proper inspections. Most importantly pest inspection because people tend to get surprised when they

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IrisJ.
IrisJ. 17 Jul 2017

The third point is, in my opinion, the most important one. People have become too inconsiderate and careless when it comes to rented properties. If a landlord wants to protect their property, regular visits...

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cornishalan
cornishalan 10 Jul 2017

Added to the cost of purchasing these village properties are the above average maintenance costs. Particularly where the property is a listed building or requires specialist building skills such as thatching...

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