The Office for National Statistics has found that the property market suffered a significant decrease in property transactions in December.
The provisional seasonally adjusted UK property transaction count for December was 102,330 residential properties and 11,230 non-residential properties.
In terms of seasonally adjusted data, this marks a 0.1% decrease on the month before. However, when compared with the transactions in 2017, December’s figures rose by 3.6%.
Additionally, In the year to December, the number of property transactions increased from 1,154,730 to 1,207,590.
However, non-adjusted residential property has suffered severe transactional decreases in December 2018. On a month-by-month basis, transaction activity dropped by 11.5%. Year-on-year, this equates to a 2.9% reduction from 2017’s figures.
Neil Knight, Spicerhaart Part Exchange & Assisted Move business development director, said: “The latest property transaction figures show quite a confused picture – the seasonally adjusted figures show a very slight decrease from November to December (0.1%) but a 3.6% increase on last year, while the non-seasonally adjusted figures show transactions were down significantly – 11.5% on the previous month and 2.9% lower than last year. But these are provisional, so it would be unwise to make any hard and fast analysis of them at this time.
“Especially as our Estate Agency divisions have had a very positive start to the year which suggests that the demand is out there and whilst Brexit uncertainty is definitely having an impact it’s not holding everyone back.
“And when you bring new housing into the picture, it is clear that activity is very much on the up. In fact, construction output hit an all-time high in November 2018. All new construction work was up 3.4%, with new housing up 4.9% and total output exceeding £14bn for the first time since records began in 2010. This suggests that while Brexit uncertainly may be having an effect on transactions in terms of those who maybe want to move but don’t need to, new housing is still very much needed for those who have to move or are looking to make their first step onto the housing ladder.
“We work with housing developers all over the country on residential schemes aimed at a variety of different buyers, including downsizers, where we can offer part-exchange and assisted move options. This can be particularly useful when the market is subdued, because it eliminates chains, helps buyers to move quickly and easily while helping builders helps with their cash flow so they can get on with their next project to help ease the housing crisis in this country.”
What do these figures indicate for the conveyancing sector in the coming months?