On a seasonally adjusted basis, transactions totalled 104,470 – up 3.2% from June and 36.7% higher than in July 2021.
In June, residential transactions totalled 96,290, down 55.1% compared with last year and 3.1% lower than the previous month.
Richard Davies, MD of Chestertons said, “We have seen a clear uplift in the number of viewings and the number of buyers registering with our branches in July. This increase in market activity suggests that, despite economic challenges and the changes to mortgage rules, buyer appetite remains on an upwards trend.
“One driving factor behind house hunters wanting to move sooner rather than later are interest rates. With the Bank of England putting up rates more than once this year, many buyers have established a stronger sense of urgency.
“Another reason that drives buyer enquiries is that the market is seeing a post-pandemic reshuffle. After many house hunters put their search on hold or changed priorities over the past two years, we have since been registering enquiries from families wanting to finally make their move a reality as well as international students, international buyers and office workers who require a pied-à-terre closer to work again.”
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said, “There is still evidence of strong activity in the market even though some of the heat has come out of it, and mortgage brokers remain exceptionally busy.
“With yet another rate rise on the cards next month, borrowers are keen to secure a fixed-rate mortgage before pricing edges higher. Lenders remain keen to lend but rising energy bills will inevitably have an impact on affordability calculations.”
Richard Pike, chief sales and marketing officer at Phoebus Software said, “Looking at the non-seasonally adjusted figures in July it is no surprise that the number of transactions in July is higher than in July 2021, given that the SDLT holiday came to an end in June 2021.
“However, we may have expected to see the figures falling in comparison to June this year when interest rates are rising and inflation is raging. To discover that this was not the case and that figures are ‘broadly’ in line with previous transactions in July is heartening.
“It shows that there is still an appetite to move, buy and sell and that the effect of rising mortgage rates is not the deterrent we might have expected.
“Nonetheless, there are many factors that can still affect the housing market and, as reported last week by the ONS, with real wages shrinking when held up to inflation it could be that the appetite we have been seeing is curbed.
“Affordability will be a defining factor and although lenders have more freedom since the affordability regulations were relaxed, common sense must prevail.”