HMRC Property Transactions: Jackson-Stops comments, 31 August 2023

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments:

“A further step up in completed transactions for July feels like a hot summer streak when you consider that 2023 began with uncertainty and hesitation. Activity may be down year-on-year, but it’s still within touching distance of the numbers seen throughout the mid-2010s, despite the low interest rate environment being firmly in the rear view mirror.

“Mortgage rates are slowly heading back in the right direction and, while rate cuts have been incremental, borrowers will be relieved and have a chance to catch their breath following a turbulent 12 months.

“It’s important to remember the property market is not wholly determined by mortgage rates; the market is cyclical and while there may be slower periods, a lack of stock and a continual demand will help to avoid a completion cliff edge. Cash buyers and right sizers have both benefited from strong house price growth in recent years and are now able to make their moves relatively unaffected by a temperamental lending environment.

“Heading into Autumn we expect housing is likely to be a defining topic of conversation at the political party conferences and expect it to be central to the major parties’ long-term strategies. Reforms to planning, greater devolution to local councils and green energy infrastructure are all important topics of conversation for Sunak and Starmer to address to give homebuyers confidence that a brighter future lies ahead.”