House sale transactions down nearly 20% on last year

Transactions across the UK in October were down 3.3% on the month before and down 18.8% on October last year.

According to Spicerhaart, releasing figures based on data from haart branches, transactions – counted as exchanges – were down even more in London, by over 20% year on year.

New buyer demand was also down across the UK last month – by 22.4% year on year, and by 2% on the month.

The number of properties coming on to the market fell 5.3% between September and October, and by 6.1% on the year.

Prices, both nationally and in London, bounced up in response to the shortage of supply.

In London, the average price of a property sold subject to contract was £548,668 – 5.7% up on September, and 7.6% up on an annual basis.

Across the country as a whole, the average UK house price was up 0.5% on a monthly basis, and 1.5% annually. According to haart figures, the average UK house price (again, SSTC) is now £227,566.

Notably, this is considerably below Rightmove’s new asking price average of £305,670, and also well under LSL’s average sale figure of £294,351 – see story above.

Paul Smith, CEO of Spicerhaart, said: “The nation’s property market is suffering from the ongoing confusion around Brexit and what it will mean for our economy.

“Home owners are experiencing a crisis of confidence, with sellers either holding out for better offers or keeping their properties off the market altogether.

“A Brexit courtroom drama has hardly helped the situation. The Government must set out a clear plan for Brexit to help buyers and sellers feel confident and to get house-builders building again.

“In London, which voted heavily in favour of Remain, the problem is particularly acute, with the number of new properties on the market down by over 10% on last month, and transactions down by over 20% on last year.

“The current supply shortage has seen a jump in London prices compared to last month, but unlike normal times this isn’t a sign of a ‘hot’ active market. It is a blip undermined by the fall in transactions – in reality, nobody is winning in the current market.

“The ‘psychology of Brexit’ is holding the market back, and the Government must act to avoid this dip becoming a long-term problem.

“The Autumn Statement is the Government’s opportunity to relieve the pressure. Philip Hammond must look to cut Stamp Duty, especially at the bottom end to help ‘generation rent’ make their move on to the property ladder, which will increase fluidity in the market.

“We also need to see new incentives to ensure house-builders continue with planned projects and increase their pipelines to get Britain building again.”

According to Spicerhaart, the lettings market is much healthier, with a 28.6% yearly increase in transactions across the UK.

However, it said that the number of tenants entering the market fell 2.6% on the month and by 13.4% annually.


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Written by: Houseladder