Significant rise in residential property transactions

Some estate agents expect to see the number of residential property transactions jump after the General Election.

residential_property_transaThere has been a sharp increase in the volume of residential property transactions in the UK in the last five years, according to Ludlow Thompson.

The company report that transactions have risen by 37 per cent in the last five years, from 878,720 in 2010-11 to over 1.2 million in 2014-15, helping to boost the wider economy.

HM Revenue and Customs data reveals that over £10 billion has been raised in revenue from stamp duty on property and land over the past 12 months, which is more than capital gains tax and inheritance tax collectively.

Stephen Ludlow, the company’s Chairman, commented, “Not only does the increased activity show that the residential property market is booming, the increased revenue from stamp duty is hugely beneficial in putting the UK on a firmer financial footing.”

Last week, HMRC data revealed that the number of residential property transactions reached 100,790 in March, down 2.4 per cent compared to the corresponding month in 2014.

adrian_gill_reeds_rains_you“House sale completions are limping along as we approach the final furlongs before the election,” said Adrian Gill (left), Director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents.”

But while many prospective buyers are currently dragging their heels, Gill expects to see that see change after the election.

“Buyers may be beating around the bush at the moment, but once the political path forward becomes clear, housing market activity will fall back into step,” he added. “We usually see an uptick of confidence following a General Election, almost regardless of the outcome, and any summer boost will propel things from an already high base.”

Despite the year-on-year fall in transactions, the Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) said that it was pleasing to see the number of monthly property transactions hit over 100,000 last month.

brian_murphy_mabBrian Murphy (right), Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), commented, “After a quiet winter – where the number of monthly property transactions dropped below 100,000 for four consecutive months – it is encouraging to see that the growth observed by HMRC in February has been sustained. The number of transactions in March was up four per cent compared to the beginning of the year, suggesting the seasonal slowdown in activity is coming to an end.”

Although pleased to see “that there is still plenty of life in the market”, Murphy insists that maintaining affordability and addressing the supply-demand imbalance remains a priority.

“A sustained lack of properties coming on the market will stunt future housing activity, and drive up house prices at a rate that could leave first-time buyers on more modest incomes barred from the property ladder,” he added.

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