Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments on the latest HMRC Property Transactions

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments on the latest HMRC Property Transactions which shows that seasonally adjusted UK residential transactions in December 2022 were 1% higher than December 2021 and 3% lower than November 2022:

“It’s encouraging to see transaction levels hold year on year. Buyers have made the most of the quieter period to complete their transactions, clearing the way for a new wave of properties to enter the market in the Spring and provide an anticipated bump in instructions and buyer interest. Ahead of this, we have seen mortgage rates fall to their lowest point for three months, helping to ensure that borrowing remains accessible, and transactions can still go ahead in significant numbers up and down the country.

“With supply levels remaining steady as we move further into 2023, house prices remain largely insulated even if growth levels month on month soften. Buyers remain in the market and keen to go ahead in areas where supply is available, but where we are seeing a change is in the amount that they are willing to spend in order to proceed with a purchase. Buyers feel much more grounded in reality now with a long-term outlook, as we wave farewell to the frenzied pace of bidding wars seen six months ago.

“With some buyers choosing to put their property search on hold towards the end of the year, as often happens when the weather turns colder and Christmas plans take priority, this allows those continuing with their search to be more price-aware and willing to negotiate on optimistically priced properties. Jackson-Stops’ own national branch data shows a hopeful picture for December, with instructions up 47% giving buyers much more choice, alongside an 165% uptick in agreed sales compared to the same period last year. For those that have mortgage in principle agreements that were confirmed before the September political turmoil which are shortly due to expire, a short chain and quick completion will be of the utmost importance.”