First sign of a slowdown? Transactions drop sharply says HMRC

Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2022

House sales in February were around a fifth lower than the same month in 2021, according to HM Revenue and Customs figures.

Some 112,240 transactions took place in February across the UK, which was 20.8 per cent lower than in February 2021, HMRC said. The total was, however, 4.4 per cent higher than in January 2022.

Jason Tebb, chief executive of OnTheMarket, says: “As the weather starts to feel more spring-like, more stock is coming to market but not quickly enough to satisfy pent-up demand from buyers who didn’t make their move last year and remain keen to do so.”

And Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, comments: “As we are finding in our offices, the momentum which began with the release of pent-up demand after lockdown restrictions relaxed shows little signs of abating and may even be on the rise, thanks to recent welcome additions in stock levels.”

Savills’ research guru Lawrence Bowles states: “TwentyCi records show that sales of properties under £200,000 are still well below where they were pre-pandemic, whereas sales for properties worth £300,000 to £500,000 were 47 per cent higher than their pre-pandemic levels, and between £500,000 and £1m the market saw 73 per cent more sales than before Covid.”

He continues: “Part of this shift is because there simply aren’t as many homes under £300,000 as before, as we’ve seen values rise over the course of the pandemic.”

Finally Nick Leeming, chairman at Jackson-Stops, says: “Whilst today’s year-on-year figures reflect the absence of the stamp duty holiday incentive, the significant increase from January this year is indicative of a market driven by intent, as the middle to high end of the market continues to press forward with their desire to move home.”

Via @EstateAgentToday