Search Acumen (property data insight and technology provider) comments on HMRC’s property transactions data for October 2022:
- Seasonally-adjusted estimate of both non-residential and residential transactions in October remain similar to September, with a 2% increase on September’s volumes
- Monthly transactions of residential properties continue to be similar to that of the same period in 2019, prior to the pandemic
Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, the property data and insight provider, comments:
“As house prices embark on a slow decline, the gentle swing towards a buyer’s market is feeling more real by the day. The fear of any kind of rapid fall in transaction volumes, however, is yet to come to light, in which latest HMRC figures show a small but steady increase, with figures similar to that of September. Conveyancers continue their efforts to help purchasers complete before existing mortgage offers expire, while adjusting to increasingly high volume and complex caseloads. The continuation of stamp duty cuts until March 2025 announced in last weeks Autumn Statement will enable some buyers to join the property ladder for the first time, keeping the bottom end of the market fluid. However, as part of austerity 2.0, a new focus on public sector efficiency is likely to translate to cutbacks, and coupled with the threats of strikes by HM Land Registry staff, more clouds of doubt have been cast over the industry’s ability to keep up with demand.
“The only long-term fix to this ever-increasing workload for conveyancers is to embrace technology and digital automation to make time and money savings right across the transaction chain. Doing so will allow conveyancers to work on more transactions in less time, helping more people achieve their dream of homeownership before inflationary pressures bring them to a halt. We know that providing a platform that connects estate agents to lawyers, alongside doing the hard work of simplifying and optimising processes, can be transformative for law firms and will be for the industry as a whole. HMLR’s three-year digital road map is under way, but firms will need to work faster than this to double down against recessionary pressures coming into sharper focus next year.”