HMRC’s data has revealed a seasonally adjusted decrease of 2.8% in transaction levels between December 2015 and January 2016. With a 27.5% monthly reduction in non-adjusted residential transaction, HMRC stated that a monthly decrease of this magnitude is usual in January. There is a 9.7% increase in transaction levels compared to the same month last year.
Maud Rousseau, group marketing and communications director at SearchFlow, comments: “The housing market is buoyant. HMRC’s data indicates a significant increase in activity compared to this time last year and this is also reflected in the CML’s data that recently revealed the highest level of lending in January for eight years.
“It is widely anticipated that there will be a rush to complete property purchases prior to April, ahead of the introduction of the extra 3% stamp duty charge for additional homes.
“This can be reflected in our latest conveyancing sentiment survey with almost a third of our respondents preparing for activity levels to increase by 10% to 20% in the first quarter of this year. But now that the referendum date has been set, we are then likely to see the transaction level dip as any uncertainty surrounding a potential Brexit gains momentum.
“However, with the economy strong, employment level high, interest rates low and the economic and housing policies unlikely to change very much; once the dust settles there is very likely to be a post-referendum boost to activity levels, regardless of the outcome. Pent up demand and a short supply of housing will continue to drive the market.”