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Residential property transactions jump 32% in June – HMRC

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Written by: Shekina Tuahene
21/07/2020
Residential property transactions in June increased 32% month-on-month to 63,250 transactions, HMRC figures show.

However, this is still far below the transaction levels seen in the same month last year. Year on year, transactions were 36% lower than June 2019. 

Non-residential transactions rose 31% to 7,340 in June but annually, this was represented a 27% decline on the same month last year.  

Market position to be seen in months 

Andrew Southern, chairman of Southern Grove, said: “The annual decline isn’t particularly flattering but it’s the trajectory that’s most important. The next few months are going to make June look like an amuse-bouche rather than an entrée. 

“A healthy improvement in volumes month-on-month points to a large proportion of agreed sales that were knocked back, due to the pandemic, finally reaching completion.” 

Paul Stockwell, chief commercial officer at Gatehouse Bank, added: “Whilst the transactions figures have not improved significantly since May, the nature of the property market means people have not had enough time to get through the moving process.  

“It will take a bit longer for us to see how much new activity there has been in the market since it reopened in May.” 

Stamp duty concerns 

Mike Scott, chief property analyst at Yopa, said the recent stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland, as well as similar initiatives in Scotland and Wales would help bring some transactions forward to this year but suggested this would not have a lasting impact. 

After a spike in the number of completions in March 2021 there will probably be another fall in the second quarter of next year as the normal rate of stamp duty is reimposed,” he said. 

Tomer Aboody, director of MT Finance, also agreed the tax break had a positive effect on the market but said changes to capital gains tax could set that back.  

Aboody said: “If the government increases capital gains tax on principal home sales, it will push us back again so any progress made by the stamp duty reduction will be swiftly lost.  

We need more stimulus via reduced stamp duty to the upper end of the market and hope for this in the Autumn Budget. 

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