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Written by rosalind renshaw

Home sales ticked up 6% in May compared with April – and by 9% on May a year ago.

The figure is from HMRC but does not seem that straightforward, as it is a provisionally “seasonally adjusted estimate” or, in other words, not the real number and not the final estimate.

However, according to HMRC, there were 83,740 residential transactions in May.

According to the taxman, the seasonally adjusted number of transactions has been rising in recent months, although there was a slight dip in April.

However, the latest figure remains a long way short of the 150,000 or so monthly transactions at the peak of the market – which was 2006 in terms of volume.

In 2006, HMRC recorded 1,667,960 actual home sales. Last year, it recorded 932,010.

All figures refer to housing transactions above £40,000, where Stamp Duty information was recorded.

However, a key issue for estate agents is lack of stock.

Paul Smith, chief executive of estate agency chain Spicerhaart, said: “The strong increase in transactions is due, at last, to lenders doing what they should be doing – lending.

“The Government’s Funding for Lending Scheme is undoubtedly encouraging lenders to offer more attractive mortgages, and first-time buyers particularly are taking advantage of this.
 
“However, with 13% fewer properties coming on to the market than last year, we need more stock to sustain this significant boost in confidence.”
 
See also what the property website Home has to say about volumes in a separate story.

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