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Property transactions fall 11% in May

The number of residential UK property transactions in May 2019 came to 89,810 – 11.3 per cent lower than the number in May 2018, according to figures from HMRC.

The seasonally adjusted figures also show that at 10,090, non-residential transactions fell 3.7 per cent on an annual basis.

Between April 2019 and May, residential property transactions dropped 6.4 per cent and for non-residential, by 0.8 per cent.

Yopa chief property analysis Mike Scott warns not to be too hasty in drawing conclusions, pointing out that, “other indicators such as the number of mortgage approvals are still showing a healthy level of activity, so this may reflect a temporary slowdown in the number of sales agreed in the immediate run-up to the original Brexit deadline at the end of March, which has now carried through to fewer sale completions.

“If so, then we will see the slowdown in the number of sales continue into next month, and then start to recover, at least until the end of the year after the new October deadline.

“We still expect that the number of homes sold in 2019 as a whole will be the same as in each of the previous five years, at around 1.2 million,” he adds.

SPF Private Clients chief executive Mark Harris says: “With transactions declining, lenders have their work cut out to attract business. This explains the downward trend for mortgage pricing with a number of big players cutting their mortgage rates in the past couple of weeks.”

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