Search Acumen comments on HMRC UK Property Transaction Statistics for February 2016

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22 March 2016

Search Acumen200Andy Sommerville, director of Search Acumen, comments on HMRC property transactions, February 2016:

“We’re finally seeing the impact of buy to let stamp duty changes with record growth in residential transactions recorded at their highest levels since November 2007. This momentum is likely to continue until March at least, and subsequently dip once the changes are introduced following 1 April .

“The market looks to be in its healthiest state for eight years in terms of transaction volumes, which is encouraging against a climate of political and economic uncertainty arising from the Brexit debate and the general health of the global economy.

“Non-residential property transactions have also kept pace with residential transactions, reaching the highest recorded level since April 2008.

“Following last week’s Budget, we’re likely to see commercial property transactions grow as the lower and middle end of the market benefits from the reform of stamp duty land tax for commercial purchases, bringing an end to the unpopular ‘slab’ system.

“Similar changes for residential transactions had a positive impact on the lower and middle end of the residential market when they were introduced over a year ago.

“However, higher value commercial property sales will now be hit by a stamp duty increase, and it remains to be seen what impact this will have – in the residential market there were some signs that it reduced demand at the top end. Foreign investors will be keeping a keen eye on movement in property prices as well as weighing up the potential impact of Brexit as a result of these changes.”

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