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Property sales in the UK fell by 1.7% between July and August but were 8.4% higher than a year ago, according to the latest seasonally adjust figures from HMRC. There were 99,930 residential and 9,090 non-residential transactions. The data also shows that since the beginning of the 2013/2014 financial year there has been a general month on month increase in transactions for the seasonally adjusted data. In February 2014 there was a gradual decrease followed by a flattening out of transaction numbers. July 2014 and August 2014 have seen new peaks for recent non-seasonally adjusted Transactions to their highest level since November 2007. According to Peter Rollings, chief executive officer of Marsh & Parsons, after a stirring start to the year, the UK property market has calmed, and trading conditions are beginning to look reassuringly more familiar again. ‘Steep house price growth during the first three months has softened to a steadier and more sustainable upward slant, as demand is finally being matched by an encouraging amount of new housing stock on the market,’ he said. ‘The volume of house sales dipped in the month to August 2014, but if we look at the figures through a longer term lens, there has still been a healthy step forward compared to the same point last year,’ he explained. ‘The market may have wound down for summer as it recovered from the adjustment of tighter lending regulation coming into force, but there’s still plenty of gas left in the tank. We expect sales to move up a gear in the autumn, as calmer competition for available homes boosts the confidence of home buyers and pedals the wheels of activity,’ he added. Meanwhile, the latest figures from the British Banking Association show that gross mortgage lending of £11.1 billion was 15% higher than in August last year. But gross mortgage lending in August remains below the £11.3 billion per month average of the last six months. The overall mortgage stock continues to rise in response to stronger demand and is 1.4% higher than a year earlier and sustained growth in business lending is beginning to be seen in the manufacturing, retail and wholesale sectors. Overall net business lending to non-financial companies was £1.5 billion in August, up from minus £0.9 billion in July. According to Duncan Kreeger, director of lender West One Loans, property market activity will remain muted unless lenders do something active about it. ‘High street banks have lent in the same way to the same customers against very similar properties for the last hundred years. In the 21st century, we shouldn’t expect old ways of doing things to power a red blooded recovery,’ he said. ‘Lending must be about getting homes on to the market as well as simply getting them off the market. In other words lenders will solve the biggest problem for the property industry by increasing supply, as well as demand,’ he pointed out. ‘Alternative finance is… Continue reading →
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