Andrew Lloyd, managing director of Search Acumen, comments:
“Today’s figures show that despite a tumultuous three months in British politics, and the Government’s decision to penalise those investing in additional properties, the residential and buy to let markets has stayed strong.
“In fact, the second quarter of 2016 saw a 10% jump in residential transactions from the previous year and was the highest recorded figure for this quarter since 2007.
“Although it may feel as though we are in a time of constant change and uncertainty, we can look ahead with some optimism despite the looming realities of Brexit. The market is fundamentally strong.
“This increase in residential transactions has also meant that the Government has benefitted from an additional £424million in revenue, generated from April’s SDLT tax hike.
“The figures suggest that the driving force for these rises came from properties valued below £250,000 which continue to be the preference among buy-to-let investors who accounted for almost a fifth of these transactions in Q2.
“However, the Government has in many ways shot themselves in the foot. Instead of freeing up the lower end of the market for first-time buyers as promised by George Osborne, competition for these more affordable properties has intensified and therefore further squeezed out many first-time buyers from getting onto the housing ladder.
“Going forward, the newly appointed Housing Minister will need to focus his attention on delivering a working and sustainable housing market, especially for this end of the market.”