There was a minor increase in the number of housing investments made during December 2017 and January 2018, according to Property Transaction Statistics from the HM Revenue & Customs show.
Transactions were up 1.3 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis according to HM Revenue & Customs. However, there were 0.1 per cent fewer transactions in January 2018 in comparison to the same month a year earlier.
North London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, Jeremy Leaf, said: ‘These figures demonstrate yet again the remarkable resilience of the property market even in the traditionally quieter month of December. Activity remains steady, rather than spectacular, as buyers and sellers come to terms with more stable trading conditions and must be prepared to be realistic in order to successfully complete their transactions.’
However Craig McKinglay, sales and marketing director at Kensington, took a less positive opinion of the market. He claimed that a cut to stamp duty for those looking to downsize might boost the transaction count across the UK investment property sector.
McKinglay explained: ‘Property transaction figures have remained stagnant for some time now, and this is a clear indication that limited housing supply continues to impact on the opportunities for buyers to move onto or up the property ladder, or even downsize in later life.’
He felt a cut to stamp duty for those looking to downsize would increase the transaction count.
Director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, Jeremy Duncombe, placed the blame for the sluggish market on a lack of clarity from the government about housing legislation.
He said: ‘It’s great that we’ve seen genuine commitment and action from the government in recent months to tackle our housing crisis. However, whilst we’re certainly heading in the right direction, we’re lacking clarity from the government on long-term plans. The future of the Help to Buy scheme has yet to be guaranteed beyond 2021 and with many builders relying on the scheme, any further delay will create uncertainty in the market.’