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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Early Christmas gift for agents as transactions show surprise rise

Data from HM Revenue & Customs has revealed that residential property transactions have increased by 4.3 per cent year-on-year.

In October 2019 there were 103,680 residential transactions, seasonally adjusted. On a monthly basis these transactions rose by 4.3 per cent between September and October.

This rise was generally regarded as a surprise by agents and analysts alike.

“These numbers, though clearly a little historic reflecting commitment made several months earlier, are still encouraging. What we are seeing on the ground are fewer but more serious buyers taking advantage of improved affordability and who are expecting a post-Election release of pent-up demand. Less choice is underpinning prices and driving demand so the more drastic correction that many predicted is not expected” explains Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman.

Neil Knight, business development director at Spicerhaart Part-Exchange and Assisted Move, adds: “Although we’re not back to where we were before the 2016 referendum, it’s an encouraging picture to take into the festive period and beyond that into 2020. We remain hopeful that once the General Election is done and dusted, we will finally see some sort of resolution to the ongoing Brexit uncertainty, and that whatever government is elected can also begin to put in place some of the other much-needed measures – such as planning reform and reductions in stamp duty – needed to get the market moving.”

And Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, says: “The fact that transactions have edged up slightly compared with last month and last year is encouraging. However, these figures also demonstrate that there isn’t a great deal of activity going on in the purchase market as many buyers take a wait and see approach until Brexit and the general election are out of the way. Until then, the situation is unlikely to change radically. Only those who really have to move, for whatever reason, are doing so.”

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