UK housing market continues to slump as number of homes sold in March drops

Oscar Lopez
House Prices Widen The North-South Divide
Property transactions have dropped in March according to HMRC. (Source: Getty)

The number of residential property transactions in the UK has dropped 7.2 per cent between February and March, according to the latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The HMRC UK Property Transaction Statistics report showed that this month’s seasonally adjusted figures were 11.8 per cent lower compared with the same month last year.

Non-residential property transactions also decreased, slipping 7.9 per cent between February and March of this year. The number of non-residential properties sold in March was 12.1 per cent lower compared with the same month last year.

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“Todays statistics reveal the continued stagnation of the housing market,” said Steve Seal, director of sales and marketing at Bluestone Mortgages. “Monthly variations are still giving way to the underlying trend of a lack of supply, leaving the market unable to fully serve the needs of all of those within it, or wishing to enter.”

“Combine our lack of supply with the rising cost of living, and it’s clear that finances are being tightened for those trying to save for a deposit.”

Read more: Brits considering giving up healthy eating to save for a home

The dismal figures from the HMRC come as yesterday’s IHS Markit Household Finance Index showed that UK households were overall pessimistic about financial conditions in the year ahead, and that household finances at the start of the second quarter had deteriorated.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “Buyers may be demonstrating more caution because of fears that interest rates are on an upward trajectory. However, with Mark Carney recently pouring cold water on market expectations of a rate rise next month, borrowers should not worry too much about speculation but act according to their own circumstances and what they can afford.”

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