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Sales of properties in the UK fell by 4.8% between August and September but are still 5% higher compared to the same period in 2013, the latest data shows. The figures from HMRC show that the provisional seasonally adjusted sales count reached 97,450 residential sales and 7,880 non-residential. The pattern since the beginning of the 2013/2014 financial year has been of a general month on -month increase in transactions for the seasonally adjusted data until February 2014, then a gradual decrease followed by a flattening out of transaction numbers. According to David Newnes, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, the figures show that the property market is settling back into a period of steadier growth after toning down the temperature in the last few months. ‘Price growth has cooled, with September seeing the lowest monthly increase in property prices so far this year and transactions have also dipped on a monthly basis. Some of that energy loss is a consequence of lower lending levels, which dipped in July and August,’ he explained. ‘Some is down to a drop off in demand at the higher end of the market, as foreign investors rein back their purchases while sterling stays strong. Uncertainty over rate rises completes a trio of hesitation, although it has been made clear that eventual rate rises will be brought in gradually,’ he added. He also pointed out that while the market may appear to rebalancing, demand at the lower end remains positive, with sales of typical first-time buyer properties like flats stable. ‘Greater availability of higher LTV loans enables more new buyers to get onto the housing ladder,’ said Newnes. ‘Help to Buy has played a vital role in this regard, and has inspired much more confidence in the lower end of the market, confidence which is now being translated into a sustained demand for first time buyer property,’ he added. Continue reading →
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