Property transactions jump 11.8% in December – HMRC

Residential property transactions in the UK climbed by 11.8% in the month of December, new figures published by HMRC have revealed.

HMRC’s provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate sat at 113,470 for the month, a figure up on November but14.6% lower than in December 2020.

For non-residential transactions, HMRC’s non-seasonally adjusted estimate was 11,780 for the month of December. This was 12.9% up on November’s total, as well as 7.4% higher than December a year earlier.

Commenting on the figures, Hargreaves Lansdown senior personal finance analyst, Sarah Coles, highlighted that the “lag” in the latest figures mean they reflect sentiment before the Bank of England raised its base rate on 16 December.

“These figures measure completed transactions, so there’s a lag between people’s decision to buy and when they feed into these statistics – about 2 to 3 months later,” Coles said. “We know that agreed sales have been dropping for months, so there’s a good chance this will manifest itself in lower completion numbers over the next few months.

“Interest rates will be playing their part too, with weeks of speculation, a rise in December, and yet more talk of rises to come in the next few weeks or months. Any rise in mortgage rates would be a rise from a very low base, and there will still be some very attractive mortgage deals around.”

Legal & General Mortgage Club’s head of broker relationships and propositions, Clare Beardmore, added: “There is much to be optimistic about as we head into a new year, as buyers continue to take advantage of relatively low rates, while confidence in the market remains strong overall. Inflationary pressures, and potential further base rate increases, of course have the potential to slightly shift the landscape, but initial forecasts for 2022 are positive.”

“January is typically a time for reflection and new resolutions. For any individuals looking to re-evaluate their finances, the value of expert advice cannot be understated. The first consideration for any borrower should be to speak to an independent, experienced adviser, who can help them secure a deal that aligns with their financial needs.”

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