Residential transactions rebound by 16% in May: HMRC

Residential property transactions are beginning to increase from the lows seen in April, according to the latest figures from HMRC.

Related topics:  Finance News
Rozi Jones
23rd June 2020
House for sale sign sold
"We are seeing the signs of strong appetite to move forward with investments in the UK residential market in particular."

The data shows that there were 48,450 residential transactions in May, down 49.6% compared to May 2019 but 16% higher than in April.

Andrea Olivari, co-founder at digital lender Selina Finance, commented: “On the whole, there are gradual signs that the property market is moving, with the latest industry figures revealing an average house price increase of 1.9%. So the rise in property transactions is reassuring, particularly given the figures are taken from May and the market wasn’t officially re-opened until mid-way through the month.

“It will be interesting to see if this trend continues throughout June or whether these figures are down to a release of pent up demand from the lockdown period.

“Whether the increase continues in the long term is dependent on an array of factors, particularly the "new normal" of homeworking post-Covid and how this influences homebuying decisions.”

Anna Clare Harper, co-founder of property fund Anglo Residential, said: "Recent events and practical restrictions such as physical valuations and obtaining finance mean it is hardly a surprise that property transactions have fallen dramatically year-on-year.

"However, what we can see from the HMRC data and from what we are hearing from investors, appetite is responding quickly. We are seeing the signs of strong appetite to move forward with investments in the UK residential market in particular."

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and former RICS residential chairman, added: "As always, it is property transactions rather than the more volatile prices which prove to be a better barometer of market strength and these are no exception. Although, of course, the numbers represent activity initiated several months ago, so are historically disappointing, they do show as well a welcome enthusiasm to pick up on transactions which were stalled and engage in new deals, which is exactly what we are finding on the ground.

"Looking forward, listings are increasing which is encouraging and likely to bring more balance. But on the other hand, we have concerns that most of the demand is for smaller family houses rather than smaller flats as aspiring first-time buyers remain concerned over future employment prospects post-furlough."

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