UK PROPERTY sales fell in January, with the seasonally adjusted estimate for the month down by 1.4 per cent compared to December.
The latest data from HMRC shows that there were 97,320 residential transactions and confirms that in recent months the trend in seasonally adjusted transactions has been on a slight downward trend.
The number of non-adjusted residential transactions also fell in January compared with December, and was also lower compared with January 2014.
An HMRC spokesman said: “This is usual during this month of the year, although the number of non-adjusted residential transactions was also lower compared with January 2014. Please note the figures for the two most recent months are provisional and therefore subject to revision.”
The figures are based on HMRC’s Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) database, which records the information submitted by property purchasers on the Land Transaction Return.
The data also shows there has been an increase in the number of non-residential transactions. The seasonally adjusted estimate for January 2015 is 2.1 per cent higher than in December, 2014, and 8 per cent higher compared with January, 2014.
“Seasonally adjusted transactions of non-residential property have increased slightly over the year. Non adjusted transactions have seen some monthly peaks and falls during the last financial year, this can be expected due to the seasonal nature of purchases,” the spokesman added.
Peter Rollings, chief executive officer of estate agents Marsh and Parsons, explained that while property sales may have faded slightly in January, buyer demand is still strong. “New shades of regulation in the mortgage market have slowed the process, but they’ve made it more robust too and borrowers and lenders are benefiting from more thorough and effective affordability checks,” he said.
“As a result, the buyers who have their finances in place are eager to move quickly. January has seen a boost in agreed sales, which has firmly set the ball rolling for 2015, and this will only gather faster momentum during the spring, typically one of the most popular times to move house when these completions come to fruition.”