Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops responds to HMRC Property Transactions data

In response to HMRC Property Transactions data published this morning which shows on a seasonally adjusted basis there were 80,420 UK residential transactions in December, which is 18% lower on an annual basis and 1% lower month-on-month, Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops comments:

“Despite today’s figures showing a subdued final quarter of 2023, a seasonal slowdown is par for the course as celebration and reflection takes priority in December.

“If last year was characterised by greater supply and tentative buyer appetite, the cautious hope is that 2024 will shepherd in a period of greater steadiness and predictability. Buoyed by falling inflation and competitive mortgage rates, a strong response from buyers to renew their searches and push forward with completions should also encourage sellers to return their properties to the market at realistic guide prices.

“On the eve of the Bank of England’s next interest rate decision, the expectation that rates will hold firm is another important piece of the property prosperity puzzle. If the Bank of England opts to err on the side of stability, it will go some way to help the market level out and return to a stable footing both in terms of sales agreed and property prices.

“Across the Jackson-Stops network in December we saw a notable uptick in the number of prospective buyers for new listings in the commuter belt around Reigate, Newmarket and Colchester, as well as in popular rural and seaside areas such as Blandford Forum, Truro and Taunton. This month-on-month swing shows that regional revivals can quickly emerge despite a more subdued national market.

“Pre-election promises are likely to dominate news headlines and see the major parties go head-to-head on divisive issues such as housebuilding, home ownership, rental legislation and green homes. However, any changes in property market conditions are much more likely to be determined by the persistent imbalances between supply and demand, which has outlasted the current Government and will leave a major headache for the next one.”