Housing transactions rose significantly between June and July

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Transactions have started ticking up again following lockdown, but they’re still way down on 2019

The were 70,710 UK residential property transactions in July 2020, according to HMRC.

The Revenue said this was up on June’s figures, as more completions filter through following the housing market lockdown in April and May.

However, the figures are still very low compared to the same time last year – 27.4% lower than July 2019.

In fact, residential transactions in the second quarter of 2020 are the lowest on record, reflecting the sharp fall in sales caused by Covid-19 and lockdown, said HMRC.

Paul Stockwell, chief commercial officer at Gatehouse Bank, said: “Property transaction figures continue to improve, and if they continue at this pace we could see the market restored to normal levels in the next couple of months.

“The stamp duty discount has inevitably been a big driving force behind buyers’ return to the market. With people rushing to meet the March 31 deadline, we could expect to see transaction levels hold strong for the remainder of this year.

“The market re-opened in May, and with the conveyancing process taking about 12 weeks on average, it could become clear as early as next month whether the market has met, or even surpassed, last year’s transaction levels.”

Lucy Pendleton, property expert James Pendleton, added: “Sales volumes have clocked up another enormous month of growth and buyers are still registering at a blistering pace for this time of year, so this property renaissance isn’t over yet.

“The summer months are incredibly popular among movers but a big initial surge is usually followed by a steady decline in new buyer registrations.We’re not seeing that this year. The number of new buyers and sellers coming forward is refusing to wane as the weeks go by.”