UK house sale transactions down

Dec 01 | 2023

The latest available statistics from the UK government (October 2023) show a significant fall in non-seasonally adjusted residential property transactions, 17% lower than the same period in 2022 and 2% down on the previous month.

The figures for non-residential transactions, however, was 5% higher over the same period.

In response to the announcement, Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, commented: “A drop in sales is not unusual for this time of year as the busy summer months come to a close and the market begins to settle. The annual picture shows a drop in sales of just over a fifth, which is a clear indication that many people are choosing to hold on to their deposit until they are certain they can afford to buy. High interest rates over the past year have made mortgage repayments increasingly difficult to keep up with.” 

Commenting on the broader outlook, Iain said: “There was anticipation at the start of the year that we would see house prices fall off a cliff, but the readjustment has been more gradual than expected, meaning that some potential buyers are still priced out of the market. There are signs that the market will recover in the new year as inflation creeps down, and hopefully interest rates will follow suit.”

Nicky Stevenson, Managing Director at national estate agent group Fine & Country, said: “Buyers remain cautious about overpaying on their next home, but sellers are much more open to negotiation than they were this time last year, which is helping to get deals over the line. Interest rates seemingly reaching a peak is encouraging more people to begin or resume their house search, which should provide a solid foundation for the market in the months to come.”

These statistics are based upon records by HMRC, Revenue Scotland and the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and Land Transaction Tax (LTT) respectively.