UK Property Market Continues To Be Resilient

Many fearmongers including the bank of England chief suggested property prices would plummet, the UK property market is defying predictions. With the latest data suggesting that transaction levels are, in fact, holding steady.

Latest data released by HMRC; shows residential property transactions in the UK decreased by just 0.3 percent between March and April on a seasonally adjusted basis. However, the number of homes sold actually remains 0.8 percent higher than in the same period last year.

Furthermore, a total number of 99,420 properties were sold last month in the UK, only a marginal change from March when 99,740 transactions were completed. However, this figure actually represents a slight increase of 0.80 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which saw a total number of 98,620 sales in April 2018.

What’s more, on reviewing the collective year to date figures suggests another marginally positive trend; with 396,930 transactions on an adjusted basis and 345,110 on an unadjusted basis, showing a 0.75 percent and 0.78 percent increase respectively on the same period in 2018.

UK Property Market Continues To Be Resilient in terms of transactions

Therefore, this shows that the UK housing market, in terms of transactions, is proving to be resilient during amid a backdrop of political uncertainty.

Jeremy Leaf, former RICS residential chairman, was cautiously optimistic about the latest numbers from HRMC.

He said: “We find transactions are a much better barometer of property market health than more volatile house price data – and these figures are no exception.’

Transactions are consistent, without any sign of a slowdown. Furthermore, no significant change is likely, with a Brexit resolution not imminent.

Shortage Of Available Housing Stock A  Major Factor

Jeremy added: “However, what the numbers do mask is extended transaction times as lack of urgency and shortage of stock are the main issues affecting the market.”

Joshua Elash, director of property lender MT Finance, was more circumspect. Looking at the monthly decrease in sales, he observed: “It comes as no surprise to see transactional volumes in the residential space falling 0.3 per cent month-on-month.

“We expect this trend to continue while uncertainty over Brexit specifically impacts the end-user market and overly aggressive tax treatment continues to dampen investor activity and appetite.”

Many in the industry have predicted that 2019 will see a similar level of homes sold in the UK to the last few years. Suggesting that the final number of sales for the year will sit at just under 1.2million

Certainly, based on figures to date and the current average ‘run rate’ this would seem to be reasonably realistic.

Therefore, whilst this latest set of figures don’t exactly make for dramatic reading, what they do perhaps paint is the picture of a steady UK housing market with very few peaks and troughs.