Residential property transactions bucked their usual downward trend in November, HMRC figures have revealed.
Transactions usually have a seasonal drop in November, but the latest HMRC transaction statistics shows 104,670 residential deals in the month, up 5.1% on the month before.
The figure is however down 4.3% year-on-year. In November 2015, there were 109,370 transactions.
Broken down, there were 88,860 transactions this November in England, 8,990 in Scotland, 4,710 in Wales and 2,110 in Northern Ireland.
We have used the non-seasonally adjusted figures, but on a seasonally adjusted-basis there were 97,600 UK transactions.
Commenting on the figures, Adrian Gill, executive director of Your Move & Reeds Rains, said: “With Christmas fast approaching it is not unusual to see a lull in buying and selling, so a slight monthly surge in transactions highlights the ongoing appetite from buyers.
“However, the annual decrease these figures show is likely due to the continuing squeeze on affordability. This is putting pressure on first-time buyers, who are finding it increasingly hard to take their first steps on to the property ladder.
“The Government’s recent announcement of a £1.4bn investment into the housing market, as well as the building of 40,000 new affordable homes, is welcome news towards addressing this issue. Hopefully this funding will start to make a real difference and we will see more buyers secure their dreams of home ownership.”
Doug Crawford, chief executive of My Home Move, was slightly more positive in response to the data.
He said: “The market is well placed to keep growing as we look to 2017. Since the referendum, transaction levels have remained stable largely, which shows that the fundamentals in terms of supply and demand mean the market will weather any further macroeconomic uncertainty.
“In the long term, demand for both rented and owner-occupied accommodation will support price rises and sales volumes.
“There will undoubtedly be challenges for the market over the next twelve months, with the triggering of Article 50 and changes to landlords’ tax relief looming on the horizon.
“However, the property market has shown it is more than strong enough to overcome these obstacles.”