HMRC Property Transactions comment from Jackson-Stops, 28th July 2023

Following the HMRC Property Transactions data published today which showed on a seasonally adjusted basis, UK residential transactions were 6% higher in June 2023 (85,870) than May 2023, but 15% lower on an annual basis, Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments:

“A welcome month-on-month uptick is a promising sign and reminds us just how resilient the property market can be. We have entered a more sensible, fairer, reality for both buyers and sellers alike than the one we saw from the post-pandemic boom, and that many inadvertently became accustomed to.

“Nearly a year on from the ill-fated mini-budget, interest rate hikes and persistent inflation, the property market is now well-versed in cyclical pressures and will continue to show resilience in the face of wider economic headwinds. With the IMF confirming that the UK economy will grow by 0.4% this year, and early signs from HSBC that mortgage rates are easing, it’s hoped the last two quarters of the year will be marked by stability, not volatility.

“That being said, buyer demand remains resilient when compared to 2019 levels, even if transactions themselves appear behind to where they were a year ago. Analysis of Jackson-Stops’ own national database shows that year-on-year in June there was a 19% increase in the volume of new instructions, despite an 8.5% decrease in the number of registered buyers, creating a more balanced environment.

“In order to ensure that property purchases are not unnecessarily delayed, it’s important that homes are fairly priced in line with real market standards rather than sold prices which have since moved, to avoid gazundering and chain collapses. When a market feels unsettled, agents must work to create a sense certainty for clients. Properties priced fairly will continue to attract the interest of motivated buyers who are vying for a small percentage of the most attractive homes in the best locations.

“For sellers, the summer provides a seasonal window of opportunity to prepare your house for market when it’s looking its best. With the school holidays now in full swing and many keen to move before the end of the year, buyers will be kick starting their summer scrolling across the portals.”