HMRC transaction data reveals the number of residential property transactions increased by 1.5% between April 2016 and May 2016. The month’s seasonally adjusted figure is 11.9% lower compared with the same month last year.
Greg Bryce, managing director at SearchFlow, comments: “Despite the modest growth this month and a decline when comparing this time last year, the transaction level for the last three months is still substantially higher than the same period last year.
“This is because of the large increase in transactions of 41.5% for March 2016, as buyers rushed to beat the higher rate on additional homes which was introduced on 1 April.
“However, as very much expected, uncertainty surrounding the referendum is setting in and activity levels in June look set to be dampened as buyers and investors are holding off any decision to move until after the referendum result.
“In such uncharted territory, it is little surprise that our latest conveyancing sentiment survey revealed that 40% are unsure how the market will perform over the next three months.
“The roll out of the updated Con29 forms for the 4th of July is also likely to impact on activity levels, as many local authorities have announced that they will be closing their systems in preparation to implement the Law Society’s revisions to CON29, which have been introduced to improve the quality and consistency of information.
“With some local authorities planning to close their systems for several weeks, it will invariably lead to a backlog and delays, although conveyancers using personal searches are much less likely to be affected.”
“However, once the dust settles post referendum, the majority of our surveyed conveyancers believe that activity levels in the housing market will remain buoyant with a strong economy, employment level high, interest rates and mortgage rates low and the economic and housing policies unlikely to change very much.”