Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments on todays HMRC property transaction results

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments on today’s HMRC property transaction results:

“Today’s figures are an unexpected swing of the pendulum, with monthly transactions 7.9% lower than May 2022. While we move out of the spring bounce a slight decline is inevitable with summer holidays on the horizon, however this downturn may be more indicative of the lower end of the market starting to feel the effects of chain delays and mortgage offers expiring.

“It’s also important to caveat that if we look at these figures across the past five years, clocking up just over 95,000 transaction in June still sits comfortably close to the pre-pandemic 100,000 monthly average. In 2021, June’s unprecedented pent-up market saw figures reach over double this, thanks to the race to beat the stamp duty holiday deadline and buyers re-entering the market post-lockdown.

“As the market steadies after two years of turbulence, it’s good to see activity continuing, underpinned by an era of low stock and high demand. However to ensure activity remains buoyant during an unfamiliar period of record inflation and high interest rates for many, we would like to see lenders respond quickly and proactively to help those affected at the lower end of the market to safeguard timely completions.

“Overall, house prices are much steadier than six months ago, with previous wild spikes in values now cooling back down to the realms of normality. It will be homes that are over optimistically priced to test the market that may fall victim to much lengthier transaction times, with an increased likelihood of down valuations and unprepared buyers. Spiralling delays are currently causing the average UK transaction to take in the region of 150 days from offer through to completion. We advise sellers to remain sensible and know that it may not be the highest price that wins the day, but the buyer in the best position to get to the finish line.”