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Property transactions slip after the Brexit vote

The number of residential property transactions fell by 0.9% between June and July, according to newly released figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The HMRC cited the outcome of the European Union referendum in June as the primary cause for the fall in the level of residential property transactions, with the volume of adjusted homeowner deals down 8.3% year-on-year.

“Today’s figures reflect our own experiences of the market,” said Doug Crawford, CEO of My Home Move. “Following the referendum the vast majority of purchases went ahead without any issue, and chains were largely unaffected. In the medium term the market will remain stable, and our view is that it is strong enough to weather mild economic uncertainty.”

In total, there were 94,550 provisional seasonally adjusted UK residential property deals in July and 9,820 non-residential transactions.

Despite the “slight stutter” in the volume of transactions, there is “no cause for alarm”, according to Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd.

He commented: “It’s the usual suspects making moving on to and up the ladder a challenge. Stamp duty is certainly a barrier, alongside the difficulty of deposit-saving for many, and the latest Help to Buy ISA news will do little to inspire hope for London’s first-time buyers.”

Following the recent turmoil in the UK housing market and wider economy, Andy Sommerville, director of Search Acumen, believes that the latest transaction statistics suggest the market is stabilising.

“Many would have expected a sharp fall in transaction activity in what was the first full month in our post-referendum economy, yet an underwhelming change suggests the darkness in our market shows little sign of worsening,” he said.

Sommerville continued: “Despite the encouraging resilience the market has shown in the short term, the bigger picture reveals an 8.3% decrease in transactions since July last year, demonstrating the true hit we’ve taken from Brexit, combined with the underlying issue of affordability.

“As our economy absorbs the shock of the past three months, it is positive that homebuyers are being given a leg-up into the property market to reignite demand and boost our industry.” 

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