Property transactions dip slightly in August but market ‘resilient’

New research suggests that property transactions fell slightly between July and August this year, but that transactional volumes were still up significantly when compared with figures from 2016.

According to the latest seasonally-adjusted data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), a total of 103,490 residential and 10,600 non-residential property transactions were recorded in August 2017.

Overall, this is representative of a 0.5 per cent fall compared with figures from July. However, year-on-year, the total volume of transactions recorded in August 2017 was still up by 6.6 per cent over figures recorded in August 2016.

Andy Knee, Chief Executive of property body LMS, said that the housing market had “stuttered” due to a fall in supply throughout the summer months.

His comments follow separate data published by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) in August, which previously found that the number of homes on estate agents’ books in July hit record lows.

Meanwhile, Doug Crawford, CEO of My Home Move, acknowledged the fact that supply was continuing to outweigh demand, but said that the market was “fundamentally strong,” and that HMRC’s latest figures reflected this.

“While there was a very slight dip in transaction volumes between July and August, today’s figures make for encouraging reading,” he said.

“The noticeable uptick in activity compared with the same period twelve months ago shows that despite all odds, the property market is broadly weathering the political storm which continues to rumble through the UK.

“The market is fundamentally strong and this stability is testament to its resilience,” he said.

Zahra Himani, Senior Associate in OGR Stock Denton’s Property Team, said: “The summer months are usually quieter, as most people tend to be away. People will always need to buy and sell and, although we are noticing more patience in the market, parties are being more reasoned in negotiations.

“The real test will be in the coming months as the lead-up to Christmas is always a busy time,” she said.

“It will be interesting to see if this trend continues – any impact on the market as a result of political factors would most likely become apparent by then.”

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