UK property sales down month on month and on an annual basis

Taylor Scott International News

UK residential property sales fell by 3.4% between March and April and were 5.6% lower compared to the same period last year, the latest published figures show. The provisional seasonally adjusted UK property transaction count for April 2015 was 97,020 residential and 9,910 non-residential transactions, according to the official data from HMRC. Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, believes it can be put down to uncertainty in the run up to the UK general election at the beginning of May. ‘Only a few weeks ago, the outcome of this general election was a mystery and buyers were sitting on the fence to watch the spectacle unfold. Sales were stalling, and house price growth was also braking in many places across the country,’ he said. ‘Now, confidence is soaring and the prospects for the property market look rosy. Any ground lost before the vote will be made up by the ensuing sudden sprint, as demand now picks up the pace off the back of less stamp duty, competitive mortgage rates, and support schemes like the Help to Buy ISA,’ he explained. ‘This new unbridled momentum looks set to carry the market forwards for the remainder of the year, but now the election rhetoric has died down, the new government needs to get to the heart of the housing market’s remaining obstacle, a fundamental lack of available homes,’ he added/ Peter Rollings, chief executive officer of Marsh & Parsons, agrees. ‘Political anxiety clearly stalled housing market activity momentarily. Not many would have predicted an outright majority government, but the conclusive election result has launched a rocket of confidence in the property market, with buyers and sellers able to act with certainty again,’ he said. ‘The market above £2 million, which is already starting to digest the new higher stamp duty costs, is now free from the fear of an unfriendly mansion tax that would have encroached across much of the capital,’ he pointed out. ‘With the election done and dusted, we expect to see the market really awaken to the opportunities that are on offer with buyers acting quickly to take advantage of more available stock, better mortgage rates, lower stamp duty for those buying under £937,000 and Help to Buy schemes,’ he added. Continue reading →

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