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‘Negligible’ drop in property transactions in August: HMRC

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There was a ‘negligible’ drop in the number of property transactions in the UK between July and August according to the latest statistics from HMRC, with experts saying that this reflects the general trend for the summer months.

Seasonally adjusted figures show that there were 97,660 non-residential property transactions, compared to 97,710 in July, representing a drop of 6.1 per cent.

Legal & General Mortgage Club director Jeremy Duncombe says it’s not unusual to see a “slight dip” in the summer months.

“These figures simply reflect this seasonal cooling off period,” he says.

“August, in particular, is typically a quiet time for mortgage activity as many borrowers prefer to focus on holidays rather than house buying.”

However, he says that the fundamental issues that plague the UK housing market have not been resolved.

“If we are ever going to rebuild our fragmented market, and begin to heal the rift between supply and demand it is imperative that we start to see a positive, collaborative effort from house builders and the Government,” says Duncombe.

“Until the supply and demand for UK property is better balanced, we will be left with a housing market that is only within reach for the few and unattainable for many.”

Transactions peaked in March so far this year, when there 179,670 property transactions in the UK. The volume was attributed to the tax on second properties and the B2L stamp duty introduced in the following month.

The Northview Group director of sales and distribution Steve Griffiths says the market crash anticipated following the Brexit vote has not been seen.

“Transaction figures have remained steady, with a marginal increase in the number of property transactions,” he says.

“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.”

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