House sales down

A growth in inquiries from UK house-hunters in October is yet to translate into a pick-up in sales, according to surveyors.

Despite an overall net balance of 10% of property professionals reporting an increase in new buyer inquiries, estate agents only have 37 UK properties on their books on average, down from around 42 in March, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said.

A balance of 20% of contributors reported a fall in the number of new properties being listed for sale. Property professionals indicated there had been a dip in the number of sales agreed over the month, with the main issue being a lack of stock, Rics said.

Finally, official data released earlier showed the number of homes sold in the UK tumbling by more than half last month.

According to HM Revenue & Customs, the provisional seasonally-adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in October was 76,930.

That was a 28.2% fall over October 2020 and a 52% drop on September, when the stamp duty holiday finally ended.

In contrast, non-residential transactions rose on the same basis to 10,160, a 10.4% annual jump and 1% higher month-on-month.

“Property transactions have halved in a month, coinciding with the removal of the final stamp duty discount, and this will undoubtedly mark the resumption of lower sales volumes moving forward,” said Paul Stockwell, chief commercial officer at Gatehouse Bank.

Transactions plummeted similarly after June’s deadline, so it’s not surprising.

“House sales will likely return to the historical norms before the pandemic, as the cost of moving becomes a factor again.”



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