Drop in Residential Property Sales Not a Cause for Concern, Say Experts
By |Published On: 22nd September 2016|

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Drop in Residential Property Sales Not a Cause for Concern, Say Experts

By |Published On: 22nd September 2016|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

The “negligible” drop in residential property sales in August is not a cause for concern, according to experts commenting on the latest property transaction data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The provisional seasonally adjusted UK property transaction count for August this year was 97,660 residential and 10,620 non-residential sales.

Although a slight increase was recorded between July and August, August’s seasonally adjusted figure is down by 6.1% on the same month last year.

The Director of conveyancing specialist Search Acumen, Andy Sommerville, comments on the data: “It is encouraging that pre-referendum forecasts of economic meltdown continue to appear overblown as August’s residential property transactions show some resilience and commercial activity gains a new lease of life. The figures show a stable increase in residential transaction activity every month since the Brexit vote, and those within the property sector are finding themselves asking what all the fuss was about.

Drop in Residential Property Sales Not a Cause for Concern, Say Experts

Drop in Residential Property Sales Not a Cause for Concern, Say Experts

“We are, however, in danger of being overly optimistic about the short-term stability we’ve seen over the past months, as a 6.1% decline since the same month last year uncovers 12 months of turbulence in our sector, and efforts to get our market back on its feet must not slow down.”

Richard Sexton, the Director of e.surv chartered surveyors, also notes: “It’s not surprising to see only a nominal monthly change in transactions at this time of year, with these figures signalling no real shock to the market. However, this modest rise in numbers does show that the vote for Brexit has not caused the great shockwave predicted by some scaremongers. Instead, the housing market remains resilient and open for business.”

Indeed, the latest figures from Nationwide suggest that Brexit has not toppled the housing market.

The Director of Sales and Distribution at The Northview Group, Steve Griffiths, adds: “There has clearly not been the immediate, dramatic market crash that many predicted following the UK’s vote to leave the EU. Transaction figures have remained steady, with a marginal increase in the number of property transactions.

“Whilst we must wait for the coming months to see the true impact of the Brexit decision on our housing market, demand is still strong and many buyers in particular continue to maintain their interests in securing their next buy-to-let purchase.

“With competition still the watchword of Britain’s property market, buyers will look for certainty and speed in their mortgage application, and we believe this provides an opportunity for challenger lenders to see new standards and carve out a reputation for meeting customers’ needs.”

The CEO of estate agent Marsh & Parsons, David Brown, continues: “The top-line figures are slightly down from August last year, but this is no cause for concern – it is important to note that when you discount seasonal adjustment, the changes from the same period last year are negligible.

“The total numbers for Q1 and Q2 of 2016 were astronomically high compared to the corresponding period last year. Consequently, the market is still levelling after the frenzy we saw as people clambered to meet the April Stamp Duty deadline. This, along with the Bank of England’s plans to curb buy-to-let mortgages, caused such an enormous spike in activity, that even if we had not had the referendum vote, we would have expected to spend a good few months seeing the market recover to some level of normality.

“At Marsh & Parsons, we are certainly seeing good levels of activity, and it is particularly pleasing to see a number of enquiries resurfacing from people who had put their property searches on hold a couple of months ago. We are feeling optimistic about the remainder of the year.”

Landlords will be particularly pleased to learn that yesterday, estate agent Douglas & Gordon reported that the London lettings market experienced its “strongest ever” month in August, despite the Brexit vote.

About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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