The market continues to see an inflow of committed buyers and sellers

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

“Parallels between 2022 and 1976 appear to be growing by the day. Not only was 1976 the hottest summer on record until this year, but it was also the last time that inflation reached 18.6% in the UK, something that is touted to happen again in January 2023 following record energy bill rises.

“After a remarkable change of direction in transaction levels last month, today’s figures have been buoyed by the continual backlog of transactions that the market is working through. The market continues to see an inflow of committed buyers and sellers who have a strong sense of urgency for transactions to complete ahead of further interest rate rises. Until the 15th September at least, when the Bank of England meets again to vote on interest rates, the market remains a favourable one for borrowers with a base point of 1.75%

“To better understand where transactions should – and will – be as we move into 2023 is to cast our minds back to 2019. 2020 saw a market that nearly stalled and then 2021 followed with one of the most active and fast-growing markets we’ve ever seen, both therefore could provide inaccurate predictions of where the market could find itself in a years’ time.

“For now, in spite of wider economic challenges, the market remains in agreement that a sudden drop off in house prices and transaction levels is not the current direction of travel. Jackson-Stops latest branch data reflects this buoyancy, increasing property exchanges in July month-on-month by 40%. We’re continuing to see strong activity particularly at the top end and coastal hotspots such as Suffolk and North Yorkshire. Strong demand, committed cash buyers, and a market that continues to encourage borrowing, will all help to keep this ship on course. Parts of the market that may feel a cool breeze are the homes that have been optimistically priced which may make buyers think twice.

“The maze of red tape which has led to significant completion times will mean that sellers looking for a smoother completion should consider the full picture of a prospective buyer; it may not simply be the highest price that is the most appealing, those able to move quickest could clinch the sale.”