Property News

HMRC statistics for July 2019 show a drop in property transactions in the UK

Em Morley - August 22, 2019

The HMRC’s UK Property Transactions Statistics for July 2019 have been released, showing monthly estimates of the number of residential and non-residential property transactions in the UK.

The report lists the following highlights:

  • The provisional seasonally adjusted UK property transaction count for July 2019 was 86,630 residential and 9,760 non-residential transactions.
  • The provisional seasonally adjusted count of residential property transactions decreased by 8.5% between June 2019 and July 2019, and is 12.4% lower than July 2018.
  • The provisional seasonally adjusted count of non-residential property transactions increased by 2.8% between June 2019 and July 2019, and is 5.8% lower than July 2018.

Andy Sommerville, Director of Search Acumen, has commented on the data: “Much like this rainy August, there wasn’t much sunshine to be found in the property market this past month, as a muted July tells us that most potential home buyers are still concerned about the looming Brexit deadline.

“And the gloom is not set to abate any time soon. The closer we get to a decision on the UK’s departure from the EU, the more likely property owners will want to ‘wait and see’ before making any firm decisions to buy or sell.

“Our latest Conveyancing Market Tracker, which monitors business performance and competitive pressures in the legal property market, confirms this trend has been happening for a while. It found that total number of cases handled by property lawyers fell by over 10% between Q1 and Q2 2019, and 20% since Q2 2016. 

“While property professionals are faced with a tough market, now is the time to think differently and be ready to welcome new ways of doing business. Those who embrace technology to increase efficiencies, make their processes more transparent and speedier are well placed take advantage of better days to come.”

Joseph Daniels, founder of modular developer Project Etopia, has also commented: “Brexit has turned the property market into a game of musical statues. Transactions are still headed only one way — and that’s down. 

“This sickly trend has reared its head in recent months in a way not felt for some years and it is poison to the smooth functioning of the market.

“Brexit has cemented caution into the attitudes of buyers and sellers and the sales slump is all but nailed on now until the political uncertainty settles down.”