There were 97,600 residential property transactions in the UK in November, an increase of 0.8 per cent on October but a fall of 7.3 per cent on the same month last year, according to HMRC statistics.
For the year, the report shows a large increase in transaction in March, followed by a substantial fall in April, likely associated with the introduction of the higher rates on additional properties.
However, whilst April and May 2016 are lower than the corresponding months in 2015, HMRC found the total for Q1 to Q2 is substantially higher than the same period in 2015.
March 2016 recorded the highest number of transactions in the last ten years.
West One Loans managing director Stephen Wasserman says: “An increase in transactions for the second consecutive month is a positive indication that the property market is continuing to pick up.
“The appetite for property financing remains strong, despite the widespread economic turbulence which has shaped 2016. Certainly, with divided opinion across the sector and mixed messages filtering through, there is little consensus for investors as to the state of the UK property market as the year ends.
“However, we remain optimistic for 2017’s prospects, and anticipate many home buyers, buy-to-let and second home buyers will continue to emerge.”
However, Legal and General Housing Partnerships director Stephen Smith says the figures are indicative of the supply and demand crisis in the housing market.
“Although we have seen a slight rise in property transactions this month, house purchases remain significantly down on last year,” says Smith.
“An ongoing lack of supply in our housing market is key to this, pushing up house prices and forcing many first time buyers out of the market. Throughout the past year, average house prices in London have increased by 7.6 per cent, whereas the average wage in the capital has risen by only 1.7 per cent.
“Our nation’s housing shortage is a long term issue that requires a long term solution. Looking towards the New Year, the Government needs to prioritise rebuilding this essential sector by implementing innovative house building initiatives and following through on its pledge of building one million homes by 2020, if not more. Only then can we be confident that we will see a positive, lasting impact on our housing market.”
The total seasonally adjusted number of transactions in the UK for the year to November 2016 was 1,322,060, compared to 1,199,780 in the same period last year.