The increase is positive, but comes from a low base indicative of stagnating UK economy

Search AcumenSearch Acumen (property data insight and technology provider) comments on HMRC’s property transactions data for June 2023:

  • the provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of the number of UK residential transactions in June 2023 is 85,870, 15% lower than June 2022 and 6% higher than May 2023
  • the provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of the number of UK non-residential transactions in June 2023 is 9,670, 4% lower than June 2022 and 5% higher than May 2023

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, the property data and insight provider, comments:

“The increase in transaction volumes this month are positive to see, but come from a low base and are indicative of the stagnation grappling the UK economy. The data tells us that total residential property sales so far this year are down by 20% compared to 2022, whilst commercial transactions are down 8% (see tables below). To give that more context, the average monthly volume of property transactions in the second half of last year came in at 110,000, whilst this year that figure is averaging at 80,460 (or 102,673 vs 86,285 on a seasonally adjusted basis).

“There is no doubt the housing market is slowing down from a frenzied pace post-pandemic, however if the current trend continues, this will impact all economies related to the built environment which is no good for anyone. The government, banks and lenders, all need to work together to support the stability of the market to benefit the entire UK economy.

“The market is up against some tough challenges: both investor and consumer confidence continue to be hampered by rising debt thanks to high interest rates and persistent inflation. Though we still foresee tough times ahead for those reliant on more affordable mortgage rates, more generally speaking, the resilience of the commercial transaction market is helping to steady ship, with many hoping we’ve now reached the bottom.

“This down period, before hopefully a slow building recovery over the next few years, is a fantastic time to consider the improvements that can be made to the property sector. It is time for all players in the transaction journey to realise the impact that a digital-first approach to processes could have on the industry as a whole – saving time and making efficiencies that help all parties involved. For buyers and sellers, faster transactions lessen the risk of fall-throughs and collapsing chains. For lawyers, using technology-driven tools will enable them to service clients faster, meet their widening needs and expectations, whilst ready to take on more clients as market activity picks up.”  

Table 1: Seasonally adjusted residential transactional volumes 2023 vs 2022

Table 2: Seasonally adjusted non-residential transactional volumes 2023 vs 2022


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