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Property transactions rise in December

Residential property transactions increased year-on-year in December by almost seven per cent, according to government figures.

HMRC’s property data, which monitors buying and selling activity of properties worth more than £40,000, showed that 104,670 transactions took place in December.

This also represented a six per cent rise in transactions compared to November.

Although positive, HMRC said its monthly data should be treated with caution because its new way of calculating transactions includes some estimation.

Jeremy Leaf, former Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors residential chairman, said: “These figures are encouraging because they show an increase in transactions in December, up on November and the previous year.

“While HMRC advises caution and not to get too carried away, it’s certainly a positive, particularly as the impact of the general election is yet to be felt on transaction numbers.

“Certainly, on the ground, we are finding the election and more clarity on Brexit seems to be contributing to a much-needed recovery in housing market confidence.

“This is reflected in many more-than-usual market appraisals as well as a strong start to sales and lettings activity in the New Year. We await with interest January and February’s transaction numbers.”

Yesterday, Rightmove reported a 15 per cent year-on-year rise in new-buyer enquiries and a 2.3 per cent monthly increase in asking prices. Anecdotally, mortgage brokers also say they have had experienced a busy start to the new year.

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