20.8% rise in property transactions during August – HMRC

August saw a 20.8% annual rise in the number of residential property transactions, new HMRC figures have revealed.

HMRC’s provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions was 98,300 for August, which was also a 32.0% jump from July 2021.

For non-residential transactions, August’s provisional seasonally adjusted estimate was 10,250. HMRC confirmed this was also 5.8% higher than July, and a jump of 28.2% from August last year.

Commenting on the figures, Just Mortgages national operations direction, John Phillips, said that property transactions are now returning to a “more recognisable level”.

“The peaks and troughs of the past few months have been more erratic than in the past, but these should begin to level out as we move away from the stamp duty holiday,” Phillips said. “One thing that the latest data proves is that the tax savings were not the sole driving force behind the vast majority of moves.

“As the desire to move remains strong, particularly for properties with gardens, the imbalance between buyers and sellers remains. Buyers are significantly outweighing sellers, and properties are attracting multiple offers which is driving up prices.”

Phoebus Software sales and marketing director, Richard Pike, added: “Demand is still outweighing supply and we are seeing that even with greater freedoms being afforded to us, the race for space is ongoing.

“Even if the stamp duty holiday is almost over, additional financial incentives have recently been presented to homebuyers in the UK. Last week, the lowest ever mortgage rate in Britain was launched at a mere 0.79%, meaning those who are in a strong enough position to take out a mortgage can enjoy low rates as lenders embark on a rate war. In addition, we are witnessing more products available for first-time buyers, giving younger borrowers more options.

“We have been living in a period of extremely high demand, seeing many properties being sold well above asking price. While we are currently observing a healthy level of demand, we must proceed with caution and consider the feasible trouble ahead as government support schemes, such as furlough, come to an end.”

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