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Sales of residential property in the UK remained steady at the end of 2014, with seasonally adjusted transaction levels in December around the same level as November. The HMRC statistics also show that sales in December 2014 were 0.4% lower compared with the same month in 2013 and on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, residential property transactions increased 2.3% year on year. Peter Rollings, chief executive officer of Marsh & Parsons, pointed out that while other housing market indicators started to flounder towards the end of 2014, sales held steady. ‘The additional pressure of loan to income caps and stricter affordability regulations has slowed mortgage lending somewhat, but consumer confidence hasn’t slipped and the Stamp Duty overhaul is injecting a new lease of life into demand in the New Year,’ he explained. ‘House price growth was fading in the final few months of the year, as increased supply of housing stock relaxed the competition on the market and gave buyers a breather. Demand continues to be healthy, and combined with rock-bottom interest rates and attractive mortgage products, activity will pulse through the market and push forward further price rises According to Danny Waters, chief executive officer of Enterprise Finance, while December is traditionally a quiet time of year for residential property transactions, the non-residential market isn’t bound by the same conventions and saw an uptick at the end of 2014. ‘Whereas home seekers don’t want the upheaval of completing and moving around Christmas time, businesses often don’t have the same luxury of placing plans on the back burner and have to act more decisively,’ he pointed out. ‘These latest figures and the year on year improvement suggest a non-residential market headed in the right direction, but commercial mortgages can still be harder to obtain than residential home loans if buyers don’t look in the right places,’ he explained. ‘Indifferent attitudes from high street banks mean non-residential purchasers are often better served by specialist lenders and brokers are well positioned to help introduce the two,’ he added. Continue reading →
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