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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Up, Up, Up: transactions surge in early 2020 says HMRC

There’s been a significant rise in the number of transactions recorded in January - another sign of an improving housing market according to agents and analysts. 

There were 102,810 transactions in January, 5.2 per cent higher than in January 2019 and 4.1 per cent higher than December 2019, according to the latest HMRC data.

The figures show that non-seasonally adjusted residential transactions were approximately 12.7 per cent higher than in January 2019.

Agents are predictably encouraged.

“HMRC’s report is the latest in a series of recent surveys telling a familiar story - release of pent-up demand began even before the election, which we’ve noticed in our offices too” explains Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman. 

“The increase in transaction numbers is particularly striking as they reflect sales which were agreed mainly in September and October. If they are like this now, numbers are set to be even stronger as we approach the peak spring-buying season” he adds.

But Leaf cautions: “The strength of any recovery will probably depend on whether enough properties become available at realistic prices for buyers taking advantage of improved affordability. The market remains price sensitive so buyers will not pay tomorrow’s prices today.”

Meanwhile Mike Scott, chief property analyst at online agency Yopa, comments: "We expect that this increased demand for housing will lead to house price increases in the first half of this year, as it doesn’t seem to be matched by any significant increase in supply. We urgently need more properties for sale, so vendors who do come to market this spring have every chance of selling their home quickly, for a good price.”

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