Property sales remain largely stagnant in the UK, official data shows

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Property sales in the UK increased by 1.3% month on month in August but are 2.6% lower than the same month last year, official data shows.

The provisional seasonally adjusted UK property transaction count for August 2018 was 99,120 residential and 10,240 non-residential, according to the figures published by HMRC.

Non-residential sales increased by 2.6% between July 2018 and August 2018 but are some 1.9% lower compared with the same month in 2017.

According to Kevin Roberts, director of the Legal & General Mortgage Club, financial barriers such as stamp duty levels, are discouraging home owners from moving up the property ladder so sales have remained stagnant for some time now.

‘The Government must continue to focus on delivering the thousands of new homes our country needs, but it’s important that we consider the challenges facing buyers further up the chain too. For example, a stamp duty exemption for last time buyers would help stimulate activity and keep the housing cycle moving,’ he explained.

‘Removing this barrier to older owners would open up properties for families who want to upsize and also the next generation of buyers who are trying to take their first step,’ he added.

There are issued in the property market that are affecting both sellers and buyers, according to Alex Depledge, chief executive officer of Resi.co.uk. ‘Brexit uncertainty has added to the worries of property developers and builders. All eyes will be on the Conservative party conference where the Government must give some indication of plans that will fix the housing market,’ he said.

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Written by: Houseladder