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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Small dip in transactions as market tries to shrug off Brexit blues

The annual number of property transactions edged down slightly according to the figures released applying to August.

However, buyers and sellers email relatively active despite the current Brexit uncertainty.

There were 99,890 residential deals in August, down 0.9 per cent from last year but rising 15.8 per cent compared with the previous month according to HM Revenue & Customs.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, says: “It is transactions which are a better indicator of market health than more volatile boom and bust house prices. Although it’s always dangerous to take one month in isolation, they show continuing market resilience as buyers and sellers look beyond political uncertainty.

“However, the numbers also demonstrate that transaction times and chains are lengthening, which is what we are seeing on the ground.”

Another senior agent - Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops - says: “Brexit and the recent political uncertainty has undoubtedly delayed the market’s seasonal bounce this year. Finally, after months of waiting we’ve seen a healthy uptick in transactions in August. Buyers have had enough of waiting around for the ‘perfect’ time to sell and are now taking advantage of the ‘must move market’.”

And Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, adds: “Transaction numbers remained fairly subdued in August on a year-on-year basis, despite HMRC showing a significant fluctuation compared with July.  But a steady market is what you would expect for the time of year; with the added spectre of Brexit looming, buyers and sellers didn’t have to look far for an excuse not to do anything but sit on their hands.”

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