View more on these topics

Resi transactions down 40% in March but up on a monthly basis: HMRC

Figures from HMRC show that residential property transactions fell more than 40 per cent in the year to March.

There were 102,810 residential transactions recorded in March and the seasonally adjusted data released found that, while this was a rise of 0.5 per cent on February, the figure was 40.9 per cent lower than in March of last year.

However, in it’s report, HMRC says that the significant year-on-year drop is “due to the unusually high transaction count in March 2016,” in which buyers rushed to beat the Stamp Duty hike imposed in April.

For March 2017, the number of non-adjusted residential transactions was about 20.9 per cent higher compared with February 2017 but HMRC says no direct comparison should be made between March 2016 and March 2017 due to the large peak in March 2016, on a non-adjusted basis.

North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf says: “Figures such as those from the HMRC which record actual property transactions are much more relevant than rival indices reflecting price changes because they more accurately depict the health of the housing market rather than simply make people feel better about themselves.

“It will take a while for the hiccup in the market caused by the stamp duty surcharge introduced this time last year to ease but overall the market seems in good health and unlikely to be swayed too much by the General Election at this stage.”

Mortgage Advice Bureau head of lending Brian Murphy says: “The data released from HMRC this morning relates to transactions volumes for the UK, and provides us with an absolute figure in terms of the number of completed Residential transactions for the first quarter of 2017. 

“The total unadjusted figure of 102,740 residential property transactions for the UK in March suggests a month on month increase of 20.9 per cent, which will be welcomed by many in the industry as a measure of positive sentiment.  

“Clearly, given the buy-to-let spike in March 2016 which resulted in 171,370 residential transactions (unadjusted) for the month – the highest number of transactions in a month for 10 years – any year on year comparison would be skewed and therefore not relevant to current conditions.  

“However it’s perhaps worth noting that in March 2015, which is largely considered by most industry commentators as a ‘normal’ period given that there were no significant events that would have impacted the housing market, the unadjusted figure was 91,490, again a reassuring indicator.  On the same basis, it’s also interesting to compare Q1 2015, which saw 247,780 residential transactions (unadjusted) with the total for the same period this year, which was 268,310, a 7.65 per cent increase.”



Buy-to-let lenders swing back towards variable fees

Buy-to-let lenders increasingly favour percentage-based arrangement fees over flat fees, according to Mortgages for Business. The broker’s latest Buy to Let Mortgage Costs Index shows that 44 per cent of buy-to-let loans in Q1 2017 had variable fees, overtaking flat fees (at 41 per cent) for the first time in four years. Mortgages for Business […]

lifetime lease purchases

What is a lifetime lease purchase?

Lifetime lease purchase deals involve raising finance but not on current properties. Rather, they are taken out when consumers move home. They are called lifetime lease schemes. Although not identical to sell-and-rent-back options, they are unregulated too. Lifetime leases are designed for clients who want to move but either cannot afford to or don’t want […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up