Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments on the latest HMRC Property Transactions Data, November 2023

In response to the HMRC Property Transactions Data published today which showed on a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of UK residential transactions in September 2023 is 1% lower month on month, but 17% lower year on year at 85,610 transactions, Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, said: “Transactions remain consistent month on month, another indication that the market has shown stability in the face of wider economic challenges.

“However, there has been a gradual increase in the length of time it is taking from offer accepted through to completion. Particularly for longer chains that are reliant on multiple mortgages being approved and accurate valuations, the risk of fall-throughs only rises.

“Buyers and sellers are taking a level headed approach to property sales, with sensible pricing and committed movers clearly underpinning market activity. Cash buyers that remove the risk of down valuations and whose offers are often taken seriously due to the quick move times they allow, are dominating several regional trends. At moments like this, accurate pricing that considers local market conditions, is essential. But certain local market nuances are continuing to emerge; across the Jackson-Stops network, Sherborne, Norwich and Blandford are showing the biggest increases in transaction volumes, with buyers continuing to outnumber sellers month on month.

“The reality is that the market continues to be faced with a backlog of transactions, outstanding from the frenetic activity levels of 2021. While the market was enjoying its extended moment in the sun, the arrival of a more balanced market does mean that only committed buyers are moving ahead with purchases, which should help chains to move forward meaningfully.

“The market will be hoping that the Bank of England maintains the base rate at 5.5%, in light of easing inflationary pressures, in order to help restore buyer and lender confidence ahead of a seasonally quieter period for the market.”

HMRC Property Transactions