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Property transactions drop 17%

Property transactions drop 17%

The number of residential property transactions decreased by nearly 17 per cent in June when compared with last year, official data has shown.

HM Revenue & Customs’ UK property transactions statistics, out today (July 23), showed that 84,490 residential properties were purchased in the month of June — 16.5 per cent less than in the same month last year.

This was also down 9.6 per cent when compared with the month before and the lowest seasonally adjusted level recorded in the year to June.

Source: HMRC

On top of this, June 2019 recorded the lowest level of residential transactions when compared with the same month in 2017, 2016 and 2015.

Today’s results also showed a decline in the number of transactions carried out for non-residential property.

Numbers fell 7.2 per cent monthly and 12.4 per cent year-on-year to 9,140 in June, according to the government’s figures.

Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, said the fall in transactions compared to last year was “astonishing”.

Mr Aboody thought affordability issues, coupled with uncertainty around Brexit, was having a significant impact on people’s decisions about whether to move home.

Josef Wasinski, co-founder of Unmortgage, said: “Another fall in transactions hammers home what we’ve known for years — there are potentially millions of people locked out of homeownership. 

“Despite having salaries above the national average, many can’t raise the sort of mortgage they need to step onto the ladder.”

But Adrian Moloney, sales director at OneSavings Bank, thought politics had continued to dominate the conversation.

He said: “With uncertainty still in the air, prospective buyers remain hesitant, with many waiting for more clarity before making purchase decisions. 

“While a change of leadership could encourage a new outlook for the market, a clear focus on the underlying supply and demand issues within the housing market is needed to drive any real change.”

Boris Johnson was today announced as the new leader of the Conservative Party and will take up the post of prime minister tomorrow (July 24).

imogen.tew@ft.com

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