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Transactions plummet - agents' fingers crossed for rest of 2019

The number of residential property transactions in May was a thumping 11.3 per cent lower than the same month last year, raising concerns amongst agents for the market for the rest of 2019.

Figures from HM Revenue & Customs suggest that over the course of just one month - April to May - the fall was a still-worrying 6.4 per cent.

According to former RICS residential faculty chair Jeremy Leaf, himself a London agent, says that the figures evidently demonstrate a weakness in sales at the time of year when more strength would have been expected.

“However, the seasonal nature of the market makes spotting short-term trends difficult. Irrespective of Brexit, let’s hope the fall in the number of transactions and their impact on the wider economy is near the top of the new Prime Minister’s agenda” he says.

The chief property analyst at online agency Yopa, Mike Scott, says the poor transaction total comes despite relatively healthy mortgage approval figures. 

“This may reflect a temporary slowdown in the number of sales agreed in the immediate run-up to the original Brexit deadline at the end of March, which has now carried through to fewer sale completions” he says.

“If so, then we will see the slowdown in the number of sales continue into next month, and then start to recover, at least until the end of the year after the new October deadline.”

Even Paul Smith, chief executive of Haart and an optimist on market issues, says the latest HMRC figures are “disappointing.”

He believes that a supply bottleneck is keeping transaction volumes low. 

“Our data shows there are six per cent fewer properties for sale across the country compared to this time last year” he says, adding: “The picture is even more severe in London.”

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    The rot set in with Mr Osborne's intervention 5 years ago; Brexit is cherry on cake.

  • Paul Barrett

    LL are slowly selling off
    So will about 300000 accidental LL before the 2020 deadline for new CGT regulations.
    Any other what you could call normal business will be lower every month compared to last year.
    Few can afford to buy or sell.
    So it is only the effective 'distressed' LL that are having to sell to avoid S24; S21 ban etc etc plus if course those accidental LL caught out by the new CGT regulations.
    Crafty old Chancellor has worked out a way to effectively force 300000 homes to be put on the market.
    The fact that in doing so it will cause about 1 million homeless tenants doesn't concern him in the slightest.
    In his mind it gets rid of 300000 LL or forces them to re-occupy their homes to avoid large CGT bills though I'm not sure this tactic will reduce CGT past the 2020 deadline.
    Still causes mass homelessness.
    For years illegal letting with residential mortgages without CTL has been a substantial part of the PRS.
    Well the CGT bill in 2020 will make it pointless.
    Any rent received will be paid to HMRC for CGT.
    So EA might be kept busy with these aberrant 'distressed' sales but once they are gone the market will fall flat on its face.
    Nothing will be happening BrExit or otherwise!
    Gonna be some tough times for LA and EA but then I can remember the overwhelming support that EA and LA gave to mortgaged sole traders during the JR for S24...................................NOT!!!!!
    So us LL don't give a a monies for the poor old EA and LA.
    Reap what you sow but you won't be getting much LL business I can assure you!!!


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