Property sales fall by nearly 17% in June

The number of UK residential property sales fell by 16.5 per cent to 84,490 in June compared to the same month last year, the latest figures from HMRC show.

The seasonally-adjusted property transaction count also showed a 9.6 per cent drop between May and June this year.

There was also a decline in non-residential property sales, which were down by 12.4 per cent on a year ago at 9,140 last month.

June’s figure for non-residential transactions was also 7.2 per cent lower than May.

MT Finance director Tomer Aboody says: “The fall off in transactions compared with this time last year is astonishing.

“Some transactions are happening but the volumes are not there as people can’t afford to move.

“Affordability is an issue, coupled with uncertainty around Brexit, which is having a significant impact on people’s lives and decisions about whether to move or not.

“The government needs to do a lot more to stimulate the housing market.”

Legal & General Mortgage Club head of broker relationships and propositions Craig Hall says: “While support from the mortgage market and government schemes has helped many borrowers buy their first home, the current undersupply of housing is slowing growth in transaction volumes.

“Despite Legal & General Mortgage Club research showing that just 12 per cent of consumers, looking to buy in the next six months, have considered delaying their decision because of current political uncertainty, a lack of suitable housing at all tenures and high stamp duty costs is leading many to stay put.”

Search Acumen director Andy Sommerville says: “We regularly measure the rate of property transactions and our findings are mirroring those of HM Revenue & Customs – the Brexit effect has finally taken hold of the housing sector with transaction levels falling in June.

“Property owners are opting for a ‘wait and see’ approach before taking the plunge. A weakening pound and the spectre of possible house price corrections means more people are staying put for as long as they can.

“How long this continues will depend on how long the current political impasse stretches on, but it’s unlikely that we’ll see an uptick in transactions before the end of October.”

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