After slowing in September, transaction numbers picked up in October.Nick Barnes, Head of Research
Provisional data from HMRC show that the number of residential property transactions (non-seasonally adjusted) in October was 6.6% higher than in September and 11.6% up on October 2013.
The latest Housing Market Report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) shows that the number of people actively looking to buy property in September reached the highest level since 2004. However, the report also noted that the number of properties available to buy in September was the lowest for that month since 2002. Despite the supply-demand imbalance, most properties are being sold for under the original asking price, with just 4% of properties sold in September for over the original asking price, while 82% were sold for below asking price.
The November Rightmove House Price Index reports that stock for sale per estate agency branch fell to the lowest ever level recorded at this time of year. The volume of property coming to market is also slowing down and November saw new listings down 1% on the same period last year and 15% on the previous month.
National House Building Council (NHBC) data reveal that housebuilding is at its strongest levels since 2007. In London, registrations were up by 6% in the third quarter of this year compared with a year earlier, although in the South East they fell by 15% compared with a year ago.
NB comment: After slowing in September, transaction numbers picked up in October and have broken the 1m barrier in the year to date. Annualised data for Jan-Oct suggest full year transactions will be 13.4% higher than in 2013 – talk of a slowdown other than in London appears somewhat premature.