UK house sales jump by a third in July in normal summer surge – but experts warn of slowdown

The number of home sales in July rose by a third from a year earlier, as the usual summer surge in demand picked up activity, according to new figures.

The most recent report from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) showed that house sales also rose by 7.2 per cent last month, reflecting a slowdown in demand coupled with a shortage of properties for sale.

An estimated 110,970 properties changed hands in the UK in July, compared to 83,520 registered in July last year, which represents an increase of 32.9%.

This makes it the busiest July for the property market since 2015.

According to researchers, housing transactions have historically followed a seasonal trend of increased market activity in the summer months, a trend followed by the July 2022 interim estimate.

Last year, the housing market experienced an unusual surge in demand in June.

This means that year-on-year comparisons should be treated with caution, HMRC warned.

It added that estimates for UK residential transactions in July 2022 are in line with historical levels seen in July before the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the increase in sales growth in July, Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdowne, says the overall decline has been seen this year.

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She explained: “Thanks to a normal summer, home sales continued in July. However, this is not a change in direction, but rather a slight direction for the market. As winter fades, chances are the busy property market will too. The market tends to change, and it increases in the summer, but if you look at the general trends, sales are gradually decreasing since the beginning of the year.

“July saw nearly 111,000 people get the keys to their new homes, while sales in March were below their 2022 peak. This is especially impressive because the houses for sale are very thin on the ground.

“However, the vast majority of these sales will be negotiated in March and April, before we are hit with the full impact of the cost of living crisis. By the time we got to the winter, the market had dried up and buyers had evaporated; Because high energy costs, inflation, inflation, inflation and fears of worse down the road have sapped confidence in the market.

In the months since, the number of properties for sale has decreased again and buyers are thin on the ground.

The RICS Housing Market Survey shows that the number of new buyers has fallen since May and that existing buyers are more vulnerable to wider market forces, so many sales are falling.

“We don’t expect a straight line down, because the property market isn’t full of mathematicians doing smart calculations – it’s made up of people with their own circumstances and motivations. However, we expect the market to continue to trend lower as we head into autumn.

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and former chairman of RICS Residential, added: “As usual, property transactions are a greater barometer of market strength than dynamic prices. However, these figures, although positive, reflect what was happening several months ago when the market resumed.

“On the ground, we are finding that the demand is still there, but the cost of living and the concern about interest rates are creating a more cautious approach which will reduce the numbers and increase the length and reduce the number of sales.

“On the plus side, buyers and sellers are negotiating hard to keep their agreed sales moves above the line.”

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