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Property sales bounced back strongly in June

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

Housing sales are lower than this time last year, but demand has rocketed since lockdown has eased

There were 63,250 UK residential property transactions in June 2020, according to government figures.

This was 35.9% lower than June 2019 but 31.7% higher than May 2020, when the country spent half of the month in lockdown.

The second quarter of 2020 is the lowest recorded by HMRC on this particular measure, due to the impact of Covid-19 crisis on the housing market.

But there is a more bullish outlook from those on the front line of the property-buying process.

Green shoots

Property pundits are confident that transactions will start to pick up following strong demand since restrictions were eased.

Andrew Southern, chairman of property developer Southern Grove, said: “The annual decline isn’t particularly flattering but it’s the trajectory that’s most important. The next few months are going to make June look like an amuse-bouche rather than an entrée.

“June was the first full month of housing transactions since the property market swung back into action post-lockdown.

“A healthy improvement in volumes month on month points to a large proportion of agreed sales that were knocked back due to the pandemic finally reaching completion. However, those who only began seriously looking in late May won’t necessarily feature in these figures for months yet.”

Paul Stockwell, chief commercial officer at Gatehouse Bank, agreed: “Whilst the transactions figures have not improved significantly since May, the nature of the property market means people have not had enough time to get through the moving process. It will take a bit longer for us to see how much new activity there has been in the market since it reopened in May.

“More up-to-date figures from property portals offer encouraging signs. There are suggestions that the stamp duty cut has already boosted buyer demand and this has helped to ensure prices have not crashed in a way many commentators predicted they might, which is a positive sign.”