HMRC property transactions data: Jackson-Stops comments

The HMRC property transactions data today showed that the provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of the number of UK residential transactions in February 2023 is 90,340, 18% lower than February 2022 and 4% lower than January 2023. Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments: “Nearly three years to the day since lockdown began in the UK, the housing market is worlds away from the property paralysis that it once saw.

“Today’s figures reflect the air of reservation from homebuyers that followed Liz Truss’ time in power and the mini-budget fallout which then began. Yet, while transaction levels have cooled slightly, the property market isn’t applying the brakes.

“Just in time for the ‘Spring bounce’, buyers are renewing their searches in earnest as more listings enter the market, building up momentum for a period of more deals and with that, more stability. Internal data from across Jackson-Stops’ own national network shows a moderate uptick in viewings, instructions, exchanges, and listings month on month. Regional trends remain key to understanding the housing market today, but standout properties close to urban hubs are continuing to benefit from keen buyer interest. Our network of offices in the South East, in key commuter locations such as Reigate, Chichester, Dorking and Woking, have seen a noteworthy uplift in new instructions with Woking also seeing new enquiries rise by more than a third month on month, gearing up for what could be a very busy Easter.

“The market doesn’t know yet what repercussions leaving housing out of the Budget could have on transactions levels. While this may be the Chancellor’s attempt at clearing his lines rather than risking an own goal, keeping supply and demand in balance will become even trickier when avoiding the bigger questions around housebuilding, energy efficiency and Stamp Duty reform.”