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24 May 2016
Doug Crawford, CEO of My Home Move, comments on HMRC’s number of property transactions, finding a month on month fall of 45% in April
“The huge monthly fall in property transactions in April is in line with the industry’s expectations, and was driven by investors bringing forward purchase to beat the clock on the stamp duty changes. With thousands of pounds potentially at stake there was a clear incentive for landlords to complete ahead of the April 1st deadline, and the falling off of transaction volumes confirms the vast majority did so. This follows data published by the CML last week, which highlighted that mortgage lending fell 29% between March and April.
“Transaction figures are likely to be subdued over the next few months as a result of the rush on buy-to-let purchases in the first quarter and caution caused by the looming referendum. Looking forwards, our recently published forecast is for the number of property transactions to rise by 7% this year and by 20% by 2020.
“While house prices are high, buyers who can raise a deposit have been given a boost by extremely attractive mortgage rates which support borrowing. There are also signs of solid improvement in lending to first time buyers, such as a growth in high loan to value mortgages available. Unlocking the market for first time buyers is the key to supporting high volumes of purchases in the market as a whole. Our forecast growth in sales is based on first-time buyers being able to access the high loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage products that will support their borrowing."