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Slump in property transactions

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The number of UK residential transactions was down by almost 8% in February, according to official figures.

Data from HM Revenue & Customs showed a total of 100,510 transactions were completed in February 2015, compared to 109,100 a year ago.

This represents a 7.9% year-on-year decline.

The number of transactions did rise compared to the previous month, growing 2.5% from the 98,050 recorded in January. However, January figures tend to be low following the Christmas slowdown in the market.

Non-residential transactions were on the rise, but still remain small compared to the residential market.

Some 9,900 of these transactions were made last month compared to 9,250 in February 2014, a 2.5% rise.

These transactions were also up month-on-month, growing 2.7% from January’s total of 9,650.

HMRC said the number of residential transactions was on a slight downwards trend over the past few months.

“The long term movement in the number of residential property transactions reflects the general performance of the housing market over the past nine years,” the report stated.

“Since December 2008, there was a slow but steady upward trend in the seasonally adjusted count. Since February 2014 the number of seasonally adjusted transactions has broadly stabilised at around 100,000 per month.”

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “Since December’s Stamp Duty changes, UK property transactions have risen for two consecutive months and reached a five month high in February on a seasonally adjusted basis.

“Plenty of people are still intent on making a house purchase and those who need a mortgage to do so are increasingly leaning on brokers for advice.”

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