The number of people buying and selling homes, flats and offices has dipped in the latest sign of uncertainty in the UK property market.
According to transaction figures published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) this morning, sales of both residential and commercial properties are down. There were 93,130 residential transactions rubber-stamped during September, down 4.3 per cent on the typically quiet August one month earlier.
Commercial sales were also down by 3.8 per cent over the month.
The property market was jolted earlier this year by the introduction of a new surcharge rate of stamp duty for people buying second homes. That caused a spike in volumes during March as prospective buy to let landlords rushed to beat the month-end deadline and save thousands of pounds in tax. At the time, market experts said it would distort the residential market for the rest of the year, making interpretation of the figures a little tricky.
Nevertheless, analysts said transactions falling month-on-month could be a sign of cooling in the market, since residential transactions climbed every month between April and August.
Jeremy Duncombe, director of the Legal and General Mortgage Club, said: “The market has obviously experienced a great deal of fluctuation and uncertainty over recent months – and today’s figures showing a decrease in transactions add to this tumultuous picture.”
Esurv’s director Richard Sexton added: “This data is probably the truest set of figures we have seen since the referendum, as property transactions drift down, perhaps due to uncertainty and the recognised issue of unaffordability for some buyers.”