July sees 14.5% monthly rise in residential property transactions

There were 70,710 residential property transactions in the UK during July, a total 14.5% higher than the number recorded in June, new HMRC figures have revealed.

HMRC also stated, however, that July’s seasonally adjusted estimate was 27.4% lower than the total of residential property transactions recorded in July 2019.

The non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential property transactions in July was 80,490, which the data showed is 23.2% lower than the same month a year ago.

“The 14.5% increase in transactions from June to July is further evidence that the market is continuing to recover strongly from lockdown,” commented Hope Capital CEO, Jonathan Sealey. “These figures will not yet show the full effect of the stamp duty holiday, so we’d expect to see this bolstered further as we move into autumn.
 
“COVID-19 has created changing patterns of demand, as people adapt to a slightly different lifestyle, with less commuting and more working at home. This is also likely to feed through into increased transaction volumes, with many people considering a move away from large towns and cities.
 
“As the recovery unfolds, we’re expecting to see a lot of demand from buy-to-let landlords, taking advantage of the stamp duty cut to expand their portfolio and provide rented housing that meets people’s desire for somewhere quiet to work at home, and better access to the great outdoors.”

HMRC’s figures also revealed that for non-residential property transactions, the seasonally adjusted estimate for the UK reached 8,380 in July – a figure 18.3% lower than July 2019, but 27.6% higher than June 2020.

The non-seasonally adjusted estimate for non-residential property transactions was 8,770 during the month, which is 16.6% lower than the figure recorded in July 2019.

Masthaven director of intermediaries, Rob Barnard, suggested that while the the stamp duty holiday may be driving demand in the housing market, there will be many other people who are struggling to secure mainstream finance, particularly those who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
 
“Customers who are self-employed, have been furloughed or have taken mortgage payment holidays will all need greater support in the months to come,” Barnard said.

“Specialist lenders are in a prime position to help these borrowers find the right tailored lending solution for their situation and must continue to work with intermediaries to ensure customers have access to the funding they need as the country returns to some form of normal.”

Just Mortgages national operations director, John Phillips, added: “People who were thinking about a move before lockdown have been joined by others who are looking for somewhere new to meet changing requirements.

“There are some clouds on the horizon too; as the furlough scheme unwinds, it is likely we will see unemployment rise, and it remains to be seen how long the economic downturn will last.
 
“One thing we can be pretty certain of is that, barring a second wave of coronavirus and a further lockdown, the second half of 2020 will be better than the first. July’s figures are a promising start to that.”

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