The latest official data from HMRC of transactions completed by the Land Registry show that property sales in England and Wales fell by 3.3% between May and June 2017.
However, the number of sales was still 1% greater than one year ago.
In addition, the number of non-residential property sales slipped by 5.5% – 10.3% lower in comparison to the same month of last year.
Despite this, the HMRC warns that comparisons between June 2017 and 2016 should be done with caution. This is due to the introduction of higher tax rates on additional properties that came into force in April 2016.
In all, the Land Registry completed over 1,690,200 applications. Of these, the South East came top of the table, with regional applications at 394,377. By local authority area, Birmingham came out on top, at 25,271.
Stephen Wasserman, Managing Director of West One Loans, believes that the housing market remains resilient, despite a fall in sales. Wasserman noted: ‘We’re confident transactions will pick up again in the coming months as the sector recovers from the initial shockwaves from the election.’
‘We are in a period of prolonged economic uncertainty, and during this time its important borrowers are aware of the range of financing options available to them. We’re seeing steady growth in investors taking out bridging loans, making the most of the flexibility and quick turnaround times they offer,’ he added.
Doug Crawford, Chief Executive officer of My Home Move, said that while the fall is disappointing, it is probably due to political uncertainty as a result of the Election and Brexit.
Crawford noted: ‘The hope for the housing market is that we will now have a period of relative stability, providing confidence to those who have held off from moving homes. The summer is traditionally a time of boom for the market as people look to be in their new homes before the start of the next school year, so this should help the numbers move upwards rather than down.’