HMRC Property Transaction figures, January 2024

In response to today’s HMRC Property Transaction figures which show on a seasonally adjusted basis the rate of UK residential transactions in January 2024 was 82,000, 12% lower than January 2023 and 2% higher than December 2023, please find comment in response from Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops:

“Today’s figures show transactions continued to fall in January on an annual basis, with a slow start not wholly unexpected for the time of year. Anecdotally, across the Jackson-Stops national network in January we saw an uptick across the board for appraisals, viewings and instructions, suggesting that the tide may soon be turning, and consumer confidence is firmly on the up. But today’s figures do demonstrate just how low transaction volumes have become under the Current Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt. Muted transaction volumes in recent times have left many anticipating change may be afoot in the lead up to the Spring Budget on March 6.

“Rumours are already circulating of new mortgage schemes, potential tax cuts, and other ways of stimulating the economy and inspiring consumer confidence. Homeownership, and the journey to it, continues to be one of the most divisive issues as the UK defines itself as Generation Buy and Generation Rent. In recent days the possibility of 99% mortgages for first-time buyers, downsizing incentives and promises to ‘turbocharge’ housebuilding have become more prominent, though everything is still to play for until the Chancellor approaches the lectern on Wednesday. Expected to be the final Budget before a General Election, it’s more important than ever that the Chancellor wins the hearts, minds, and votes of buyers and sellers to avoid what many expect to be a Labour landslide.

“Regardless of what the Chancellor does or doesn’t announce, policy changes will not have an overnight impact. It’s important that the Government continues to do what it can to create a more balanced housing environment that aligns buyer demand to seller supply, but as these figures show, the lack of new homes entering the market has created a sense of stale mate for transactional mobility. However, we must not forget there are brighter days ahead. February is looking promising, reflected in our huge jump in Jackson-Stops viewing figures and seller supply for the mid-market, likely to see more sale conversions from interested buyers into completions.”