Greg Bryce, managing director at SearchFlow, comments: “With a dramatic spike in activity of 41.5% increase recorded in the HMRC’s last monthly transaction report, as buyers rushed to beat the 3% surcharge which was introduced on 1 April for buy-to-let and second homes, it was inevitable that we would see a significant fall the following month.
“And whilst activity levels were 14.5% lower than April 2015, if you take into account the total for March and April, activity levels are still substantially higher than the corresponding period last year.
“The activity levels are widely recognised to be attributed to the additional surcharge and unreflective of any market malaise. Our latest conveyancing sentiment survey reveals that a third of conveyancers are expecting activity levels to increase by 1% to 10% over the next three months.
“However, as expected, uncertainty surrounding the referendum is setting in, with 40% unsure how the market will perform over the next three months. But with the economy strong, employment level high, interest rates low and the economic and housing policies unlikely to change very much, the clear majority believe that regardless of the referendum result, activity levels will remain buoyant for the second half of the year.”