Official figures reveal sluggish residential property sales against last year
Residential property sales increased by 3.5% between March and April this year, but this is 2.7% lower than the same period in 2017, the latest official figures show.
The data published by HMRC also shows that for April 2018 the number of non-adjusted residential transactions was about 12.5% lower compared with March 2018.
Meanwhile, non-residential sales increased by 7.6%, some 6.6% higher than over the same period in 2017.
The figures reveal the sluggish nature of the current property market, according to Steve Seal, director of sales and marketing at Bluestone Mortgages.
Steve Seal said:
‘House prices and transactions continue to slow and the monthly peaks and troughs of transactions fails to disguise the lack of suitable housing coming onto the market, rendering the market inaccessible to some aspiring home owners.
‘Combined with the rising cost of renting, this is preventing many borrowers from saving for both a deposit, and funds for a rainy day. As an industry, we need to ensure these borrowers are provided with the support they need in navigating their way through life’s unexpected bumps and still achieving their home ownership ambitions.’
Craig McKinlay, director of sales and marketing at Kensington Mortgages, believes that a lack of homes on the market is contributing to the slowdown and affecting not just first time buyers but also those moving up the housing ladder.
Craig McKinlay said:
‘Whilst Government initiatives aimed at boosting supply and helping first time buyers secure necessary funding are working, to encourage existing property onto the market, we need to see greater focus placed on those looking to downsize.
‘If we removed barriers such as stamp duty, this would free up larger properties for those looking to move up the ladder. Although we are moving in the right direction, more needs to be done to help these older home owners plan for later life.’
A lack of choice and rising demand are highlighted by Kevin Roberts, director of the Legal & General Mortgage Club, as being issues that are effecting transactions. He said this is preventing any real momentum from forming and limiting the options for those looking to step on the property ladder, or up, or downsize.
But he believes that overall the housing market is still performing well.
Kevin Roberts said:
‘Near record low mortgage rates combined with increased product innovation means now is a great time to speak with a mortgage broker to secure a competitive deal ahead of any future rises.’
Kindly shared by Property Wire