Home Lead Story Property transactions was 16% lower in August compared to 2022

Property transactions was 16% lower in August compared to 2022

by LLP Finance Reporter
29th Sep 23 12:08 pm

Figures released by HMRC has revealed that property transactions in August was 16% lower than August last year, but still higher by 11% than July 2023.

Seasonally adjusting the figures they fell to 87,010 or 16% lower than August last year and just 1% higher than July 2023.

HMRC data shows non-seasonally adjusted estimate of non-residential sales in August this year was 9,720, 3% lower than August last year, but 8% higher than July 2023.

CEO of Yopa, Verona Frankish said, “August saw mortgage market activity dip, with total approvals falling by around 8% when compared to the previous month. Not only was this the second consecutive monthly decline but also the second lowest total seen so far this year.

While there’s certainly a seasonal lull at play, this has been more pronounced due to higher interest rates dampening buyer enthusiasm, with approvals falling by 37% when compared to the heights of last year.

However, with the Bank of England finally calling a halt to rising interest rates last week, we should see an uplift in activity return in the coming months as buyers react to this greater degree of market certainty.”

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, said, “Another uplift in property sales is a positive sign that the industry is recovering after a slow first half to the year.

“Estate agents have been enticing more sellers onto the market to give more choice to buyers when it comes to finding the right property.

“The annual picture still shows a significant drop off in sales at 16%, but nothing different to what we were forecasting at the start of the year. If anything, our predictions of an overall fall of 20% for 2023 may even be revised thanks to the consecutive months of increases we have seen.

“The lower than average levels of mortgage approvals are partly responsible for the decline, but as inflation creeps down, and the Bank of England continues to hold off interest rate hikes, we may see that trend subside.

“The affordability factor will remain a stumbling block for buyers during the rest of the year, however.

“Sellers can be reassured that there is still a healthy demand for good quality housing, especially among first-time buyers looking to escape the expensive rental market. There may be more flexibility required in the asking price than there was last year but your local estate agent will be able to advise you on what to expect in your area.”

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