The UK housing market continues to boom as yet more positive data was released this morning, charting the rise in property sales in July.
According to HMRC, last month 80,490 residential property transactions completed in the UK on an unadjusted basis, an increase on the 67,060 completions in June, but still 23 percent below the 104,780 homes sold in July 2019. On the face of it then, encouraging but not too remarkable. Except that, if you dig a little deeper, something quite significant occurred in July with the numbers which could at first be missed by the headline figures.
When we look at the unadjusted completion numbers for England in isolation, we find that there were 71,190 residential properties sold in July. That’s slightly higher than in January, when 71,030 transactions completed in England.
The fact transaction levels in England are now back up at the same level as they were previously, given that the UK property sector returned to work in the middle of May is nothing short of astounding.
Particularly when we factor in that the stamp duty holiday was only announced on 8th July, meaning that its positive impact and the concomitant rise in buyer activity won’t be evident in the HMRC data until September at the earliest.
Islay Robinson, CEO of high net worth mortgage brokers Enness Global confirmed: “This very sudden opening of the taps means that property lawyers, some mortgage lenders and the capacity for their related valuation surveys are already creaking at the seams in coping with the up-turn.”
Islay cautioned: “If buyers and sellers expect to be moved by the end of the stamp duty holiday let alone Christmas, they must act now and with haste or else it is likely that one if not both of these important thresholds will be missed.”