Property transactions rise

Residential property transactions increased by 4.3% on a monthly and yearly basis in October 2019, seasonally adjusted statistics from the HMRC show.

There were 103,680 residential property transactions in the month.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “The fact that transactions have edged up slightly compared with last month and last year is encouraging.

“However, these figures also demonstrate that there isn’t a great deal of activity going on in the purchase market as many buyers take a wait and see approach until Brexit and the general election are out of the way. Until then, the situation is unlikely to change radically.

“Only those who really have to move, for whatever reason, are doing so. For them, there are some excellent mortgage opportunities available with lenders cutting rates in an effort to attract business.”

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “Transactions are always a better indicator of property market strength than more volatile prices.

“These numbers, though clearly a little historic reflecting commitment made several months earlier, are still encouraging.

“What we are seeing on the ground are fewer but more serious buyers taking advantage of improved affordability and who are expecting a post-Election release of pent-up demand.

“Less choice is underpinning prices and driving demand so the more drastic correction that many predicted is not expected.”