HMRC Property Transactions data: Jackson-Stops comments, 29 September 2023

Following the HMRC Property Transactions data published today which showed on a seasonally adjusted basis, UK residential transactions were 1% higher in August 2023 than July 2023, but 16% lower on an annual basis, Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments:

“At a topline view, residential transactions have continued to rise modestly over the summer months, showing signs of a market that has been quietly boosted by a period of relative stability and resilience for sellers.

“Whilst these figures are a snapshot of deals agreed likely six months ago or more, the lending market today looks more settled. The wider market hopes that the Bank of England’s recent decision to hold the base rate at 5.25% represents the peak and will therefore offer a boost to the lending market. Positively, mortgage rates are continuing to fall following a turbulent 12 months, now nearing 6% for the average five-year fixed deal.

“Mortgage rates and inflationary pressures naturally effect consumers appetite for debt in the shorter term, but the property market is not solely driven by financial decisions. Lifestyle and needs-based changes are a continually strong motivator of property purchases at all levels of the market. Often, the rules of supply and demand are taking precedent over macroeconomics. This means there is a catalogue of market nuances up and down the country, not least proximity to schools and the coast, creating pockets of market immunity. Across the Jackson-Stops network, the mid to upper market has remained active, with hotspots emerging in our Dorking, Exeter, Woburn and Woking offices where applications and instructions are both up month on month.

“Prime addresses and pristine family homes continue to dominate demand, demonstrating the enduring value of convenience and comfort. Listing your home for sale today means working very closely with your estate agent to get the marketing and price right from day one. The right buyer is critical; this won’t always translate to the highest price but the best possible position, whether that’s being chain free, able to move quickly, or buying without a mortgage. Avoiding price reductions is important for a successful sale, and that means looking beyond other guide price listings when thinking about the true value of your home today, and examining real time sold and sale agreed prices. Buyers are active, but also astute to know when something is over-valued.”