UK residential property transactions in November grew by 8.6% on October, according to the latest figures from HMRC.
In total it is estimated that there were 115,190 transactions, which is a 19.3% increase on November 2019.
There were 9,970 non-residential transactions – representing 10.3% growth on a monthly basis and 6.9% compared to November 2019.
The figures are based on the number of property transactions over £40,000 that were registered with tax officials during the month.
Anna Clare Harper, chief executive of asset manager SPI Capital said, “The increase in residential property transactions – 19.3% up on November 2019 and 8.6% up on October 2020 – is good news for the property market and reflects positive forces that are applying uniquely at this time.
“In April and May, under strict lockdown, transactions were down by about 50% compared with the same time the previous year. As a result, while transactions in November 2020 are at their highest level for 10 years, the same figure for the year-to-date remains well below previous years.
“The figures represent a recovery rather than a boom. This is at least partly policy-induced. Transactions are currently being encouraged up by the temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax reduction, as well as the release of pent up demand and supply, and the desire to improve surroundings following lockdown.
“Transactions have been dominated by second time buyers – typically trading up in favour of more space – rather than first time buyers ‘getting a foot on the ladder’.”
Gareth Lewis, commercial director of property lender MT Finance said, “It is encouraging to see the trend for property transactions continue on its upwards trajectory, with plenty of demand and purchases going through.
“We expect the market to go from strength to strength in the new year as long as stricter lockdowns don’t preclude people from doing their jobs, such as carrying out valuations. Concerns over the new strain of Covid could prove to be a stumbling block. We have already had a couple of valuations pulled at the last minute where surveyors have been able to view a property but chosen not to, as well as solicitors saying they are uncomfortable about meeting clients face-to-face.”
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman added, “Transactions are always a better indicator of market health than more volatile house prices. However, despite these numbers showing a still-accelerating trend, they reflect sales which were agreed several months previously. Since then, the market has been moving closer to hibernation as is traditional at this time of year.
“It will be a few months at least before transactions fall in line with the reduced activity that we have been seeing on the ground over the past few weeks. Nevertheless, prospects for 2021 remain relatively positive bearing in mind the determination of the overwhelming majority of buyers and sellers to complete their moves even if inevitably some will miss the stamp duty deadline.’
of value in residential property remain strong: our homes have never been so important as in lockdown.”