Property

Property transactions see further 14.5% rise in July: HMRC

Rozi Jones
|
21st August 2020
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"The upward trend in transactions data reflects a piece of positive news for all of us: the housing market is moving again after a complex start to the year."

The number of residential property transactions increased by 14.5% between June and July to 70,710, according to the latest figures from HMRC.

This follows a monthly increase of 31.7% between May and June. However, transactions remain 27.4% lower than in July 2019.

The HMRC figures show that the number of residential transactions for Q2 is the lowest it has ever recorded in this series, which began in 2005.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: "While it’s still too early for the stamp duty holiday to feed through to HMRC’s July numbers, transactions continued to pick up owing to pent-up demand. Of much more interest will be September’s data when the full impact of the stamp duty exemption will be felt and the bustle of activity that we are seeing will feed through to the official numbers.

"Lenders remain keen to lend although they are exceptionally busy due to higher demand, dealing with the summer holidays and other demands placed on them by the fallout from the pandemic, with closer scrutiny of borrowers’ incomes meaning everything is taking longer. Rates are still competitively priced although at higher loan-to-values in particular they are creeping up."

Anna Clare Harper, author of Strategic Property Investing, commented: "The upward trend in transactions data reflects a piece of positive news for all of us: the housing market is moving again after a complex start to the year. This change reflects a release of pent-up demand and supply.

"What we’re seeing in the market, which will be reflected in August's and September's data, is the further influence of recent and temporary policies.

"The temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax change is helping those home buyers and investors who are looking to buy a property worth less than £500,000 in particular.

"We don’t know for sure what will happen next: economically, or in policy. But what we can predict accurately is that two crucial factors - economic confidence and policy - will prove fundamental to the future of the UK housing market."

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