HM Land Registry has recently released data saying that in December 2022 the number of residential property transactions in the UK in December has dwindled to 108,960 – a 1% decrease from the year before and a 3% decrease on the month before.
Nevertheless, it can be seen as a good sign that the decrease isn’t too dramatic and that in December the number of transactions was higher than other figures when compared to the 5-7 years leading up to the pandemic.
The chief revenue officer at Phoebus software Adam Oldfield commented “Although no one will be surprised by the dip in residential transactions in December that dip is really quite small and the current number is still above pre-pandemic levels. This is an encouraging sign that, despite the knock in confidence in September, the housing market continues to move along. Although at a slower pace.”
He continues: “As predictions abound for 2023, and with conflicting reports regarding the number of buyers registering interest this month, it is perhaps inevitable that some of those predictions err on the negative side.
“Nonetheless, there are signs that confidence is returning and, while fuel prices continue to fall and inflation steadies, might we see a traditional post-Christmas pick up in transactions in the first quarter?”
Simon McCulloch, Chief Commercial & Growth Officer at Smoove said: “These latest statistics show the impact of rising mortgage rates and the typically quieter holiday period. However, all things considered, these events have only caused transactions to remain largely flat year-on-year, as opposed to the significant drop that many could have expected. This highlights the strength and fluidity of the UK housing market. As the hangover of the mini-budget fades and the market begins to adapt to higher rates, we should begin to see some of the market’s former dynamism begin to return.”
Similarly, Highcastle Estate’s director Zaid Patel remarked: “Though this data shows what many expected, namely that transactions in December were lower than November, January has been an interesting month so far.
“The first week was fairly quiet then all of a sudden plenty of offers came in and those offers were being accepted. They were all accepted around 5% to 10% below the asking price. Sellers seem to have accepted that they no longer hold all the cards and this could help stimulate the property market.”
Director of the Legal and Mortgage Club, Clare Beardmore added “We may have to wait a little longer to see the full impact of last year’s market volatility, and the subsequent slowdown in mortgage applications late last year, trickle through to the property completion data,”