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Transaction volumes fall 3.2% in April

Property transactions fell in April this year, down 3.2% on March’s total, according to the latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs. 

April’s seasonally adjusted figure is 20.3% higher compared with the same month last year, but direct comparisons should be avoided due to the unusually low levels of transactions after the April 1 2016 stamp duty surcharge deadline in which 3% was added to all additional property acquisitions, including buy-to-let properties.

In light of the new HMRC figures on the number of property transactions, Stephen Wasserman, managing director at West One Loans, said: “The property market will take a while to fully recover from the jitters caused by stamp duty hikes and economic uncertainty. On top of this, the result of the upcoming general election is likely to have an impact over the coming months. Nevertheless, we’re confident the sector will bounce back.”

Paul Smith, CEO of haart estate agents, insists that significant structural changes to the property market are needed to balance out inter-generational equality, and to make sure that young people today are able to gain the home ownership that their parents and grandparents were able to.

He said: “Luckily bank of mum and dad are stepping in to help – if it wasn’t for them we would certainly see transaction levels fall even lower. A severe lack of stock remains a huge issue too.

“Our latest data shows that there are 22 buyers chasing every instruction in London, and 10 buyers for every property across the country.”

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