Residential property sales in 7% slump last month, reports taxman

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Property sales fell across the UK in September compared with August – with the largest fall in England.

The latest property transaction statistics from HMRC shows there were 106,650 residential transactions worth over £40,000 in September, 6.8% down on August’s figure of 114,430.

There were monthly falls in each country in the UK, but the most significant was in England where August’s figure of 96,990 transactions fell to 89,740 in September. The figure was almost identical to that of September 2016 when there were 89,100 transactions in England.

Despite the monthly fall, overall UK transactions were 1.2% higher year-on-year, on an unadjusted basis.

The latest figures took the total transaction count for the third quarter of 2017 to 326,480, up 2.1% on the same period in 2016.

It is also the third consecutive quarter of growth in property transactions, with 302,210 registered in the three months to June.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the figures told their usual different – and sunnier – story. According to these, there were 100,850 residential transactions in September, down 1.8% on a monthly basis and 4.6% up year-on-year.

Commenting on the figures, Paul Smith, chief executive of haart estate agents, said: “Crippling Stamp Duty and the Government’s ‘war on landlords’ is still holding the buy-to-let segment of the market back.

“Sales to landlords in London are still down 33% on the year, and almost 40% fewer are registering to buy. The Treasury is squeezing investors out of markets like London where more homes for rent are surely needed.

“Rents are rising again as lettings stock is reduced, and the Government needs to question if it is really improving fairness in the market or if it is creating even more problems for young people struggling to pay rent and who may be unlikely to ever own a home of their own.

“The Budget is the opportune time to take a step back and consider whether we should really be attacking private landlords who play such a major role in the supply of housing.”

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Written by: Houseladder