HMRC: Property transactions start to rebound
There were 70,710 property transactions in July, 14.5% more than in June but still 27.4% less than in July last year, the HMRC’s seasonally adjusted figures show.
The HMRC said the stamp duty holiday announced on July 2020 is unlikely to impact transactions until late August or early September.
Anna Clare Harper, author of Strategic Property Investing, said: “The upward trend in transactions data reflects a piece of positive news for all of us: the housing market is moving again after a complex start to the year. This change reflects a release of pent-up demand and supply.
“What we’re seeing in the market, which will be reflected in August’s and September’s data, is the further influence of recent and temporary policies.
“The temporary stamp duty land tax change is helping those home buyers and investors who are looking to buy a property worth less than £500,000 in particular.
“We don’t know for sure what will happen next: economically, or in policy. But what we can predict accurately is that two crucial factors – economic confidence and policy – will prove fundamental to the future of the UK housing market.”
Jonathan Sealey, chief executive at bridging lender Hope Capital: “Although there’s clearly a long way to go for the market as a whole to get back to where it was, at Hope Capital we are seeing stunning levels of inquiries, way up on last year.
“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.”