HMRC has revealed that its provisional seasonally adjusted UK property transaction count for January 2016 was 105,940 residential and 9,600 non-residential transactions.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of the number of residential property transactions decreased by 2.8% between December 2015 and January 2016. This month’s seasonally adjusted figure is 9.7% higher compared with the same month last year.
Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, said: “2016 is unfolding with a sense of déjà vu. Last spring the general election loomed large over the property market, and now a potential Brexit is hanging in the air. Sales activity often cools in times of political uncertainty – and the London housing market usually bears the brunt of it. First and foremost, foreign investors may be more tentative given this latest turn in events, especially as it follows hot on the heels of higher Stamp Duty for million-pound properties.
“But history shows us that the market recovered quickly from this short-term ambiguity in 2015 – and in fact, home sales have really been building momentum over the past year. The property market is chock-a-block with eager buyers, who are being propelled on by cheap mortgage finance and government support schemes. Given the extent of buyer demand, it’s a great time for existing homeowners to be thinking about their next step up the ladder, which should drive further purchase activity.
“For investors, the change in Stamp Duty for second homeowners in April will be an incentive to make purchases quickly over the next month. It remains to be seen how much of an impact the EU referendum will have on these current levels of confidence but go or stay, London remains an attractive safe haven in times of uncertainty.”