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Property Transactions Increased at the End of 2016

December saw a small month-on-month increase in residential property transactions, but sales stayed well below the transaction level recorded in the previous year, according to new statistics.

Brexit Housing Market

December saw a small month-on-month increase in residential property transactions, but sales stayed well below the transaction level recorded in the previous year, according to new statistics.

The figures released by HMRC revealed that there were 97,250 provisional seasonally adjusted property transactions last month, marking a 0.2% increase from the 97,030 registered in November.


The eight consecutive month of growth in 2016, the total amount of residential transactions in December resulted in a year-on-year decrease of 8.5%.


However, the total amount of sales transactions saw an annual increase of 4%; with figures increasing from 1,225,970 in 2015, to 1,231,120 in 2016.


The yearly increase was driven by the sharp upswing in transactions prior to the change in stamp duty taxations that took place on the 1st of April 2016 – with property transactions seeing a 62% monthly increase in March, followed by a 53% decrease in April as buyers rushed to complete transactions before the deadline.


HMRC pointed out that the increase in March could also be affected by the Bank of England’s plans to curb buy-to-let mortgages taking effect the following month, and the slower rate of transaction could be prompted by the uncertainties following Brexit.


Commenting on the statistics, David Brown, chief executive officer of Marsh & Parsons said:


‘The total number of transactions rose slightly compared to 2015, to the highest since the financial crash. The resilience demonstrated in the face of a vote to leave the EU and marked changes to stamp duty which significantly impacted sales of second homes and the buy to let market is not to be scoffed at.’


Last week, the Council of Mortgage Lenders reported that December saw a 4% year-on-year increase of mortgage values approved – marking a strong finish to 2016.

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