Industry experts respond to latest HMRC Property Transactions data

by | Aug 23, 2022

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Following the latest HMRC Property Transactions data that saw residential transactions in July 2022 at 104,470, 36.7% higher than July 2021 and 3.2% higher than June 2022 and non-residential transactions in July 2022 is 10,460, 6.4% higher than July 2021 and 7.1% higher than June 2022, finance and mortgage experts have reacted. 

Danny Belton, Head of Lender Relationships, Legal & General Mortgage Club, comments on the HMRC Property Transactions data: “The UK property market is like a patchwork quilt, made of various markets that all have unique trends. For example, the prime London market is entirely separate to the wider UK residential market. However, it’s inevitable these markets will all be affected by the economic downturn to some extent. There’s no escaping that purchasing power, confidence, and disposable income will likely decrease as we edge towards the end of the year.

“But this isn’t time to panic. The UK property market is one of the most resilient around and is therefore a favourite among investors. At Legal & General, we have seen an increase in mortgage searches from June to July, while those on behalf of first-time buyers and first-time landlords remain second most popular, despite this being one of the cohorts people are most worried about. We would be doing the industry a disservice if we were to underestimate its resilience.”

Karl Wilkinson, CEO of Access FS said: “Whilst the year-on-year numbers may be skewed slightly thanks to the ‘Stamp Duty holiday’ last year, it is still positive to see a 7.2 per-cent increase in transactions in July compared to the month prior.

“Not only does it show appetite among house buyers even in the face of rising interest rates and a cost-of-living crisis, but it shows real resilience from brokers as they battle with longer lead times and lenders tightening their affordability criteria.

“As consumers continue to navigate this ever-changing landscape and lenders continue to adapt their strategies and product portfolios, good quality financial advice will remain absolutely vital.”

Richard Pike, chief sales and marketing officer at Phoebus Software, says: “Looking at the non-seasonally adjusted figures in July it is no surprise that the number of transactions in July is higher than in July 2021, given that the SDLT holiday came to an end in June 2021.  However, we may have expected to see the figures falling in comparison to June this year when interest rates are rising and inflation is raging.  To discover that this was not the case and that figures are ‘broadly’ in line with previous transactions in July is heartening.  It shows that there is still an appetite to move, buy and sell and that the effect of rising mortgage rates is not the deterrent we might have expected. 

“Nonetheless, there are many factors that can still affect the housing market and, as reported last week by the ONS, with real wages shrinking when held up to inflation it could be that the appetite we have been seeing is curbed.  Affordability will be a defining factor and although lenders have more freedom since the affordability regulations were relaxed, common sense must prevail.”

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