Andy Sommerville, director of Search Acumen, comments on the latest HMRC residential property transaction data for November:
“Although residential transaction numbers are down slightly on October, we shouldn’t be too concerned – the number of transactions in November was 3% higher than at the same time last year. Overall, the government’s efforts to urge aspiring homebuyers onto the housing ladder appear to be having a continued impact.
“It’s unlikely to be smooth sailing in 2016, however, as buy-to-let investors seek to complete their purchase before stamp duty changes come into force in April. We can expect a surge of transactions before the deadline and a levelling off from May, with a risk that ordinary buyers could be caught up in the scramble.
“The Chancellor could decide to pull another rabbit out of his hat at the next Budget, which could further improve the outlook for the residential market from May onwards. If his recent form is anything to go by then further housing measures will be targeted firmly at boosting homeownership.
“The key to keeping a fluid housing market ticking over will be to deliver the promise of new homes as soon as practically possible.”