Industry reaction to key data – “a better measure of the health of the property market” – Property Industry Eye
The number of residential property sales last month fell by a fifth from December 2020, but rose from the previous month, according to the latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
An estimated 100,110 transactions took place across the UK last month, marking a 20% drop from the 125,190 home sales in December 2020.
The December 2021 total, however, was 7.6% higher than November 2021, according to HMRC data.
Nick Leeming, President of Jackson-Stops, commented: “The numbers wrap up an interesting year for the housing market, with a generally calmer December showing double-digit growth from November 2021. Although below highs of transactions at the start of the year, and down considerably from the activity of December of the previous year, we see a market still supported by those who seek a better way of life instead of being motivated by the financial savings from the stamp duty holiday.
Nicky Stevenson, Managing Director of Fine & Country, said: “Sales continued to strengthen at the end of last year after a brief respite in the autumn with the end of the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday.
“The monthly growth in transactions comes despite current housing supply remaining at an all-time low.
“As new listings come into effect in 2022, there is every reason to expect that we will see sales volumes at strong levels in the spring.”
Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, commented: “The specter of rising rates has not deterred people who wanted to move into their own homes before the end of the year.
“While transactions were up in December, the year-over-year change shows sales are down from the end of 2020.
“A shortage of properties, coupled with the removal of government incentives to buy, has calmed the fierce market growth.”
Jeremy Leaf, a North London estate agent, said: “These figures interestingly demonstrate the strength and resilience of the market, even in the build-up to Christmas and the withdrawal of government economic support in September.
“Transactions are always a better measure of the health of the real estate market than more volatile real estate prices.
“However, we have evolved since December. Activity and rising prices are slowing a bit, notably due to the continued shortage of inventories, but concerns about rising inflation and mortgage rates are also undermining confidence when it comes to taking on debt. .
Guy Gittins, chief executive of Chestertons, said: “We expect the market to remain buoyant for at least the first quarter of 2022 as London sees the return of office workers, international students as well as Londoners who have left the capital. during the peak of the pandemic but are now seeking a return to the bustle of the city.
Andy Sommerville, Director of Search Acumen, said: “December’s transaction numbers mark a solid end to what has been an extremely fast paced and extremely busy 12 months. While transactions in December increased month-on-month, the rate of growth was slower, which was expected for the last month of the year as spirits turned to Christmas and Covid -19 came back to the head.
“2022 may be a relatively calmer year in terms of transactions, but real estate lawyers will have no right to become complacent. While the past two years have shown that forecasting isn’t always easy to make, headwinds into 2022 point to a potentially less frenetic real estate market, but still operating at higher levels compared to the pre- pandemic.