Are buyers now priced out of the market?

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Residential property transactions dropped by 4.3% between August and September, according to the latest figures from HMRC.

Year-on-year, property transactions last month were also down by 11.3%, from 105,000 in September 2015 to 93,130.

In light of the figures, some industry experts warned that buyers are being priced out of the market.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv, said: “This data is probably the truest set of figures we have seen since the referendum, as property transactions drift down, perhaps due to uncertainty and the recognised issue of unaffordability for some buyers.

“The fall in property transactions highlights the fact that many buyers are being priced out of the market completely, as property prices continue their steady climb, driven by a shortage of supply. This situation is clearly not desirable for those looking to enter the market.”

Priced out

Buying a property in August was almost 7% more expensive than the same month of the previous year, according to the latest Halifax House Price Index.

A slight drop of 0.2% was recorded between July and August but Rightmove reported asking prices rose in September after a two-month dip. The 0.9% increase in asking prices last month drove up the average house price listing to £309,122.

Nick Davies, head of residential development at Stirling Ackroyd, said property sales had slowed in September due to a shortage of homes coming onto market, putting pressure on Theresa May to do a better job at improving construction levels than her predecessor David Cameron.

He added that a reduction in Stamp Duty rates would provide a greater incentive to move home, increasing the flow of properties onto the market and ensuring house prices remained stable.