House sales down in July

The number of property transactions edged downwards in July, putting to bed concerns that the Brexit vote would result in a dramatic fall in sales

According to figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the number of residential property transactions fell by 0.9 per cent between June and July.

The number of home transactions – adjusted for the summer season’s usual drop in activity – fell by 8.3 per cent year-on-year.

In total, 94,550 homes changed hands in July, and 9,820 non-residential properties were transacted.

There were regional disparities; in England and Wales, transaction numbers increased slightly month-on-month, but there were decreases in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“This would suggest that for those buyers and sellers who were ‘mid transaction’ at or after the time of the referendum, the majority decided to continue with their sale or purchase,” said Brian Murphy, head of lending for Mortgage Advice Bureau. “So although there were some ‘market jitters’, the data reflects that the majority of sentiment around the market remained positive in the weeks after the Brexit vote.”

Doug Crawford, chief executive of My Home Move, said the “minimal” drop in transaction figures between June and July “shows that the property market largely shook off the short-term uncertainty of the Brexit vote.”

“Following the referendum there was talk that the market would be quickly affected by the outcome, but these fears have been allayed,” Crawford said.

Stirling Ackroyd’s managing director Andrew Bridges said: “There’s been a slight stutter in the property market’s post-referendum recovery – but it’s no cause for alarm.

“It’s the usual suspects making moving onto and up the ladder a challenge. Stamp duty is certainly a barrier, alongside the difficulty of deposit-saving for many.”

Stephen Smith, director of Legal & General Housing Partnerships, said: “Though some buyers may have held off on purchasing a property ahead of the referendum, it’s important to remember that transactions have remained static for some time now, and that the seasonal lull we typically see over the summer months is also likely to have played a role.”

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Written by: Houseladder