'Transaction levels remained steady over summer' - HMRC

'Transaction levels remained steady over summer' - HMRC

Provisional figures from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs show there were 109,630 residential property transactions in the UK during August.

The figure is slightly higher than the 107,620 for July and a significant improvement on the 101,840 recorded in June. 

When compared to last year, the August figure shows a slight increase - up from 109,480.

The seasonally adjusted figures show a 'negligible' fall between July and August, from 97,710 to 97,660. 

August's seasonally adjusted figure is 6.1% lower than the one published in the same month last year. 

This year's transaction peak was recorded in March (171,370), when activity among landlords and investors spiked in the run up to the additional 3% stamp duty surcharge deadline.

"The top-line figures are slightly down from August last year, but this is no cause for concern - it is important to note that when you discount seasonal adjustment, the changes from the same period last year, are negligible," says David Brown, chief executive of Marsh & Parsons.

"The total numbers for Q1 and Q2 of 2016 were astronomically high compared to the corresponding period last year. Consequently the market is still levelling after the frenzy we saw as people clambered to meet the April Stamp Duty deadline."

Brian Murphy, Mortgage Advice Bureau's head of lending says the figures present a 'stable picture' of post-referendum activity.

"What we can see here is that the Referendum result didn't appear to cause a significant 'drop-off' effect on those who were mid-transaction or indeed those who started their purchase process after that date," he says.

"August is typically quieter due to the summer hiatus, and compared with 2015 which was exceptionally busy due to pent up market demand following the general election, one would suggest that the small year on year decrease is just an indicator of the market returning to normal," adds Murphy.

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