There was an increase in the number of homes sold in October, according to the latest data released from HMRC. But will the Autumn Statement keep homeowners happy today?
The report, which details the number of residential property transactions over £40,000, is seen by the property industry as one of the few totally independent data resources, which therefore provides a reliable barometer of the current housing market.
HMRC’s figures show that there was an increase in the amount of properties sold of 1.7% on September, and a year on year increase of 9.2%, with a total number of residential properties sold in the UK in October at 105,260, meaning that over a million properties have been sold so far this year.
For context, in 2016 there were a total of 1,235,020 residential properties sold, and in 2016, 1,229,580 homes were sold.
However, we’re now into the pre-Christmas slow-down as far as the property market is concerned, as well as having seen an interest rate rise this month, so it would be reasonable to suggest that we’re unlikely to see those levels of transactions repeated by the end of 2017.
Although, given all the elements currently at play, the overall number of homes sold by the end of this year will probably still be deemed at a healthy number.
Brian Murphy, Head of Lending for Mortgage Advice Bureau said: “In a year that’s seen Brexit divorce negotiations start and an interest rate rise, yesterday’s figures from HMRC would suggest that for many, bricks and mortar is still seen as a sound investment.
“And clearly those who are buying a property are doing so based on their own agenda and personal circumstances, rather than being concerned by the current economic and political situation.”
Brian continues: “Of course, we won’t know for until the New Year how the interest rate increase this month or any rabbit that Chancellor Hammond may pull out of his hat as part of the Autumn Budget with regards Stamp Duty might affect transaction numbers over the next two or three months, as there is always a months’ lag in the data.
“However, for many in the industry, despite reports of a significant cooling of activity in London and the South East over the last few months, the numbers would suggest that, for now, the UK property market remains on a steady footing.”
Jason Tebb, Director of property finance specialists Ultimate Capital added: “Whilst we are, without doubt, at a critical point in terms of housing need in the UK, the figures will be reassuring for those who were concerned that the UK property market was losing its momentum.