While there are many industry experts offering statistics regarding market behaviour, many people prefer to wait for a trusted source to share data. When it comes to the housing market, HMRC figures are essential and carry a lot of weight. HMRC figures for May give slight cause for optimism in the market, and many housing industry professionals welcomed the findings.
Figures released by HMRC for May indicate 48,450 residential transactions were concluded in May. This represents a 16% increase on the previous month’s data. While it is prudent to point out that the May 2020 figures fell 49.6% on the May 2019 figures, it is also important to note that the May 2020 figures represent half a month of activity.
The housing market re-opened on May 13th, so there were fewer days to compare.
There were positive predictions for the 2020 housing market
As you would expect, there is a wide variety of opinions on the level of activity found in the housing market since the sector re-opened. Many have been buoyed by the activity, and believe there is a sense of optimism surrounding the market. The start of the year saw many experts tipping 2020 as the year the housing market enjoyed some stability, and while this hasn’t been the case for external reasons, there is some hope that the pent-up demand for homes will ensure there is activity for the rest of the year.
There were many reasons for buyers to be active when the housing market re-opened
Of course, it is essential to realise there are many reasons why there was a healthy level of activity in the housing market when it re-opened. It is believed around 370,000 property deals were placed on hold when the market went into lockdown. It is also likely many people experienced a change in personal circumstances during the lockdown, facilitating the need to move.
Anna Clare Harper is the Co-founder of property fund Anglo Residential, and she said: “Recent events and practical restrictions such as physical valuations and obtaining finance mean it is hardly a surprise that property transactions have fallen dramatically year-on-year.”
Anna Clare continued by saying; “However, what we can see from the HMRC data and from what we are hearing from investors, appetite is responding quickly. We are seeing the signs of strong appetite to move forward with investments in the UK residential market in particular."
Andrea Olivari, Co-Founder at digital lender Selina Finance, had this say: “On the whole, there are gradual signs that the property market is moving, with the latest industry figures revealing an average house price increase of 1.9%. So the rise in property transactions is reassuring, particularly given the figures are taken from May and the market wasn’t officially re-opened until mid-way through the month.”
Andrea continued by saying; “It will be interesting to see if this trend continues throughout June or whether these figures are down to a release of pent up demand from the lockdown period. Whether the increase continues in the long term is dependent on an array of factors, particularly the "new normal" of homeworking post-COVID and how this influences homebuying decisions.”
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