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Housing transactions break 100,000 barrier in September

Owain Thomas
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Owain Thomas

More than 100,000 housing transactions were completed in a month for the first time this year in September.

In contrast, last year boasted three months with more than 100,000 transactions and four with at least 99,000, highlighting the sluggish market.

According to data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) there were 101,740 residential transactions last month on a seasonally adjusted basis.

This figure was 2.3 per cent higher than September 2018 and 5.0 per cent higher than August 2019.

However, the total of 882,950 so far in 2019 is one per cent down on the first nine months of 2018 which saw 890,700 transactions.

Perhaps more concerningly, it is the lowest total since 2013 when just 772,000 transactions were completed between January and September, reflecting a continuation of the widely reported slowdown in the market.

Remarkable resilience

Jonathan Samuels, chief executive of property lender, Octane Capital, said: “The 5% increase in transactions on August suggests that more people are committing to a purchase now rather than wait until Brexit has played out. There’s a certain urgency that wasn’t there earlier in the year.”

He added: “Prospective buyers are aware the market could run away from them if a Brexit deal goes ahead and the sky doesn’t fall in on our heads after all, or that if the fall-out is severe then the banks could pull down the shutters.

“Given the unprecedented politico-economic environment we find ourselves in, the residential property market is showing remarkable resilience.”