Transactions
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Transactions fell in July, HMRC has revealed.

All regions saw a decline on a monthly basis, the smallest of which was in England at 4.2%, while Scotland and Wales were down 18.4% and 20.2% respectively.

The taxman’s latest property transactions data shows 105,940 UK sales last month. Despite the monthly decline, the figure was up 0.3% annually.

This was helped by a 15.2% annual boost in Northern Ireland to 2,340, while England experienced a barely-there 0.95% increase to 90,780.

However, annual figures in Scotland and Wales were down 1% and 15.9% respectively on an annual basis.

All regions saw a decline on a monthly basis, the smallest of which was in England at 4.2%, while Scotland and Wales were down 18.4% and 20.2% respectively.

Northern Ireland had a 14.2% monthly decline in transactions for July.

This led to a 6.5% monthly reduction in sales across the UK on a non-adjusted basis.

The seasonally adjusted estimate showed transactions decreased by 0.8% between June and July and was down 3.2% annually to 99,270.

Commenting on the figures, Kevin Roberts, director at the Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Despite increased innovation in the property industry and assistance from Government schemes such as Help to Buy and Shared Ownership, property transactions remain stagnant.

“A fundamental imbalance between supply and demand continues to stifle movement within the market, and until this issue is properly addressed, homeowners will find it difficult to downsize or upsize into better suited properties. The lack of availability of appropriate housing at all stages of home ownership is restricting movement in the market and creating bottlenecks.

“It’s therefore crucial that the industry continues to take whatever steps it can to ease this block and make the UK housing market accessible for all.”

Guy Bradshaw, director of central London sales and lettings at UK Sotheby’s International Realty, said: “The number of property transactions is always a much clearer picture of the market’s health than house prices as this shows what is genuinely happening on the ground.

“Undeniably recent economic and political uncertainty is being reflected in these lower figures but what is important is that these lower figures are less extreme than what we were seeing earlier in the year.

“Rather than a market in decline we are seeing simply a flat market.

“We must also remember that the average transaction time is three months so these deals would have taken place in April when vendors were just recovering from an unseasonably cold spring.

“We don’t expect to see the market to change dramatically in the next six months, but we have seen more listings, viewings and offers in the past two months.

“Whether there will be a peak in transactions later in the year will be determined by whether agents sensibly price properties.”

Source: Property Industry Eye

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